Georgia Power announced that Vogtle Unit 3 plant systems reached normal operating pressure and temperature during hot functional testing. Plant systems will continue to be tested at normal operating pressure and temperature over the next several weeks.
Hot functional testing started on April 25 and marks the last series of major tests for the new nuclear unit ahead of fuel load. The testing represents a significant step towards operations and providing customers with a reliable, carbon-free energy source for the next 60 to 80 years.
Hot functional testing is conducted to verify the successful operation of reactor components and systems together and confirm the reactor is ready for fuel load. As part of the testing, the site team is currently running Unit 3 plant systems at normal operating pressure and temperature without nuclear fuel.
Nuclear operators are using the heat generated by the unit’s four reactor coolant pumps to sustain the temperature and pressure of plant systems at normal operating levels, and the unit’s main turbine will be raised to normal operating speed using steam from the plant. Operators are also able to exercise and validate procedures as required ahead of fuel load.