US nuclear plant starts up for first time

The turbine-generator at Vogtle Unit 3 was synchronized to the grid earlier this month, and started producing electric power. It took about four weeks between initial criticality of the reactor and the plant producing electric power. It will probably be several more weeks before the reactor is brought up to full power and the plant generates its full 1100 megawatts.

Meanwhile, Unit 4 at Vogtle is currently undergoing hot functional testing of its reactor coolant system. These tests bring the reactor system up to normal operating temperature and pressure, to ensure everything works prior to loading in the uranium fuel.

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A bit of trivia…
The Vogtle nuclear power station was named after Alvin Vogtle, a former president of Southern Company. Earlier in life, Vogtle was a fighter pilot in World War II. He got shot down, was captured by the Germans, but eventually escaped to Switzerland. Alvin Vogtle was the inspiration for the Steve McQueen character in the 1963 movie The Great Escape.

  • Pete