Vogtle Unit 4 enters commercial operation (2024)

April 29, 2024 – Georgia Power declared today that Plant Vogtle Unit 4 has entered commercial operation and is now serving customers and the State of Georgia. The new unit, which can produce enough electricity to power an estimated 500,000 homes and businesses, will provide reliable, emissions-free energy to customers for at least 60 to 80 years. Vogtle Unit 3 entered commercial operation on July 31, 2023. (read more)

With all four units now in operation, Plant Vogtle is the largest generator of clean energy in the nation, expected to produce more than 30 million megawatt hours of electricity each year. The plant is operated by Southern Nuclear on behalf of the co-owners including Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities. Nuclear energy is the only zero-emission baseload energy source available today – offering high reliability and efficient operations around the clock – and, for 2023, provided more than 25% of Georgia Power's generation, including Plant Vogtle and Plant Hatch in Baxley, Georgia.

The construction of Vogtle 3 & 4 was originally approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) as part of the continuous Integrated Resource Plan process. This regulatory process includes robust analysis and discussion of the company’s plan, typically filed every three years, outlining how it will continue delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy for millions of customers over a 20-year planning horizon. In addition to the Vogtle expansion, this process has helped bring thousands of megawatts of new renewable energy to Georgia in recent years, as well as new technologies such as battery energy storage systems.

“It’s an exciting time to be a Georgian as our state continues to grow and thrive, with new demand for more clean energy each year. The new Vogtle units are a key piece of our strategy to meet the energy needs of our customers not only tomorrow, but 20 years from now,” said Kim Greene, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. “As we mark the completion of the Vogtle 3 & 4 expansion, we’re grateful for the leadership and foresight of the Georgia PSC, as well as the steadfast dedication from all of the project’s co-owners. I’m also so proud of the teams who have worked tirelessly to deliver the first newly constructed nuclear units in the U.S. in more than 30 years – representing a long-term investment that will benefit our customers and the state of Georgia for decades to come.”

In addition to providing a new source of clean, reliable energy for Georgia, the construction of the new units at Plant Vogtle has provided billions of dollars of positive economic impact for Georgia and local communities. In addition to the 800 permanent jobs created by the new units, the site employed more than 9,000 onsite jobs at the peak of construction including engineers, welders, electricians, pipefitters, plumbers and many more.

“The completion of the expansion of the Vogtle nuclear generation plant to include Unit 3 and now Unit 4 is a hallmark achievement for Southern Company, the state of Georgia and the entire United States,” said Chris Womack, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company. “Working with our partners across government, industry, labor and beyond, we have added new nuclear generation to the diverse energy resources that enhance the reliability, resiliency and affordability of our system as we work to achieve our goal to be net zero by 2050. These new Vogtle units not only will support the economy within our communities now and in the future, they demonstrate our global nuclear leadership.”

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the expected service life for Plant Vogtle Unit 3 & 4. Georgia Power cautions that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Georgia Power; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed inGeorgiaPower's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year endedDecember 31, 2023, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the inherent risks involved in operating and constructing nuclear generating facilities; the direct or indirect effect on Georgia Power's business resulting from cyber intrusion or physical attack and the threat of cyber and physical attacks; catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms, droughts, pandemic health events, political unrest, wars or other similar occurrences; and the direct or indirect effects on Georgia Power's business resulting from incidents affecting the U.S. electric grid or operation of generating or storage resources. Georgia Power expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.

Vogtle Unit 4 enters commercial operation (2024)


What went wrong with Vogtle? ›

Cost overruns and blown deadlines are notorious side effects of undertaking such projects. Vogtle certainly qualifies here. In fact, the existing two nuclear units at Vogtle, which came online in the late 1980s, ended up costing well over 1,000 percent more than the original cost estimates.

How far over budget is Plant Vogtle? ›

Unit 3 entered commercial operation on July 31, becoming the first new nuclear unit built from scratch in the United States in decades. Some Florida and Alabama utilities have also contracted to buy Vogtle's power. The overall project is seven years late and $17 billion over budget.

Who owns Vogtle nuclear power plant? ›

The expansion created 800 permanent jobs to manage both new units and was the state's largest construction job producer, peaking at about 10,000, Smith said. Southern Nuclear operates Plant Vogtle and owns 45.7% of the facility through its subsidiary, Georgia Power.

Why is Vogtle taking so long? ›

announced last week that vibrations in the cooling system in Unit 4 require additional work that will push the reactor's start date from the first quarter this year to the second quarter. The company said the problem is already fixed, but there is too much additional testing needed to meet a first quarter deadline.

What is the most expensive power plant ever built? ›

But here's the truth: At $35 billion, Plant Vogtle is the most expensive power plant ever built on earth. Vogtle's electricity is estimated to cost $170–$180/MWh, which is astoundingly high. These high costs are why 49 other states decided against building nuclear plants, even with lavish federal subsidies.

How many nuclear power plants have failed? ›

Because nuclear reactors are large and complex, accidents onsite tend to be relatively expensive. In the U.S., at least 56 nuclear reactor accidents have occurred. The most serious of these U.S. accidents was the Three Mile Island accident in 1979.

How many nuclear power plants are there in the USA? ›

How many nuclear power plants are in the United States, and where are they located? As of April 30, 2024, there were 54 commercially operating nuclear power plants with 94 nuclear power reactors in 28 states.

How many operable nuclear reactors does the US currently have? ›

The USA has 94 operable nuclear reactors, with a combined net capacity of 97.0 GWe. In 2022, nuclear generated 18.2 % of the country's electricity. Two AP1000 reactors are now in operation at Vogtle. There had been a further two AP1000 reactors under construction at VC Summer, but these were cancelled.

How long does it take to build a Plant Vogtle? ›

Vogtle Electric Generating Plant
Plant Vogtle
Coordinates33°8′36″N 81°45′38″W
Construction beganUnits 1–2: August 1, 1976 Unit 3: March 12, 2013 Unit 4: November 19, 2013
Commission dateUnit 1: June 1, 1987 Unit 2: May 20, 1989 Unit 3: July 31, 2023 Unit 4: April 29, 2024
27 more rows

What is the largest nuclear power plant in Georgia? ›

Plant Vogtle is the largest generator of clean energy in the United States.

Are there any privately owned nuclear power plants? ›

Most US nuclear power plants are built by privately owned utilities. Some are built by government owned utilities, like the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Is GE nuclear being sold? ›

GE and EDF sign a binding agreement related to EDF's acquisition of GE Steam Power's nuclear activities. Boston, November 4th, 2022 – GE and EDF today signed the binding agreement related to EDF's acquisition of GE Steam Power's nuclear activities.

What is the payback time for nuclear power plants? ›

In reality, the price assigned to nuclear power is a trap, because it ignores the fact that the “payback time” for a nuclear power plant is between 10 and 18 years, depending on the quality of the uranium ores used as fuel.

What are the problems with Vogtle 3? ›

CHART: Schedule slippage, cost performance of Vogtle 3 build

There were supply chain delays, with modules arriving late, incomplete, or both, with some designs sent to manufactures changed after production began, some designs were unrealistic or there was a lack of quality-assurance paperwork which held up shipping.

How many people work at Vogtle? ›

However, as Plant Vogtle moves closer to completing construction of Unit 4, the victory brings a sense of uneasy anticipation of less revenue for the county and local businesses. In February 2020, Georgia Power announced the project workforce had reached an all-time high with approximately 9,000 workers on site.

What was the worst power plant accident? ›

The worst nuclear accident to date is the Chernobyl disaster which occurred in 1986 in the Ukrainian SSR, now Ukraine. The accident killed approximately 30 people directly and damaged approximately $7 billion of property.

What is the problem with the AP1000 reactor? ›

Radioactive gases released from the reactor would be sucked through existing 'pinhole' containment flaws in the AP1000 Shield Building due to the 'chimney effect', potentially leading to the rapid venting huge amounts of radioactivity to the environment.

What is the name of the worst nuclear power plant accident in history? ›

Read a brief summary of this topic

Chernobyl disaster, accident in 1986 at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Soviet Union, the worst disaster in the history of nuclear power generation.

What is the controversy over nuclear power plants? ›

There is controversy over whether nuclear power is sustainable, in part due to concerns around nuclear waste, nuclear weapon proliferation, and accidents. Radioactive nuclear waste must be managed for thousands of years and nuclear power plants create fissile material that can be used for weapons.

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