Significant Progress Made on Construction of Vogtle 3 & 4
Last week Georgia Power announced that Southern Nuclear has made significant progress on construction of Vogtle 3 & 4 since it acquired control of the project from Westinghouse in 2017. The cost forecast of the project has increased however, from $7.3 billion to $8.4 billion. The project is estimated to generate emission-free electricity for approximately 500,000 homes and businesses and is expected to start service in November 2021 (Unit 3) and November 2022 (Unit 4). President and CEO of Georgia Power, Paul Bowers, said in a statement that “significant progress has been made on the construction of Vogtle 3 & 4 since the transition to Southern Nuclear following the Westinghouse bankruptcy… while there will always be challenges in building the first new nuclear units in this country in more than 30 years, we remain focused on reducing project risk and maintaining the current project momentum in order to provide our customers with a new carbon-free energy source that will put downward pressure on rates for 60 to 80 years.”
Source: Georgia Power
Unit 1 of Sanmen Nuclear Power Plant Reaches 100% Power
China National Nuclear Corporation and State Nuclear Technology Corporation announced that Unit 1 of the Sanmen nuclear power plant in China’s Zhejiang province has reached 100% power for the first time. The unit has been working towards this goal for months, beginning with hot testing of the reactor’s system which was completed in June last year. On April 25 the loading of fuel assemblies into its core began and the unit achieved a sustained chain reaction on June 21. On June 27, steam generated by nuclear was used for the first time to rotate the turbine. Sanmen 1 is scheduled to begin commercial operation by the end of 2018.
Source: World Nuclear News
Article Highlights China’s Drive for Nuclear Power
An article published on Axios highlights China’s nuclear power goals and states that “if China achieves the targets outlined in its Energy Development Strategy Action Plan, it will become the world’s nuclear energy leader and fundamentally change the global trajectory of the nuclear power industry.” The article explains that China’s nuclear sector relies almost exclusively on light water reactors, but that the country has been researching and developing “fast-neutron” reactors since the 1980s. Even with the progress being made to expand China’s nuclear power sector, several hurdles remain including negative public opinion in the aftermath of Fukushima, and that China’s GDP and power demand growth has been slower to grow than expected.
Nuclear Power Generation Increased Worldwide in 2017
The World Nuclear Association (WNA) released a report stating that nuclear power generation increased worldwide in 2017 for the fifth successive year. Production from nuclear power plants worldwide reached 2,506 TWh in 2017, which accounted for more than 10% of global electricity demand. Furthermore, the average capacity factor for the world’s nuclear power plants has increased year-over-year to 81.1%. To view the full report, please see here.