Southern Company accomplished another milestone at its Vogtle nuclear expansion project.
Integrated flushing has begun of reactor systems for Unit 4. The integrated flushing is a testing process, which causes water to move through the plant’s permanent piping system and, as a result, flowing into the reactor vessel and reactor coolant loops.
“This is the latest in a number of significant milestones recently achieved at the Vogtle nuclear expansion project and marks another step towards operations”, Georgia Power said.
Integrated flushing represents a critical step and is key to helping ensure the safe start-up of Vogtle unit 4. Over the next few months, site personnel at the project will work through this process to clean and test the system piping ahead of testing of unit 4. The company said flushing will start with the chemical and volume control system, spent fuel pool cooling system, and continue into the reactor coolant system, the passive core cooling system, and the normal residual heat removal system as they have been turned over from construction to the operations teams.
Flushing is usually followed by cold hydraulic testing and condenser vacuum testing, where pressure is applied to the reactor systems.
The Vogtle expansion project is regarded as the largest employment-generating construction project in Georgia, which, once online, is expected to create more than 800 permanent jobs, and power more than 500,000 homes and businesses.