Nuclear expansion at Vogtle underway
Georgia Power recently announced the successful placement of the basemat structural concrete for the nuclear island at the Vogtle Unit 4 nuclear expansion site near Waynesboro, Ga. Unit 4 is the second of two units currently under construction at Plant Vogtle.
This latest milestone marks a significant accomplishment in the construction of the project, among the first new nuclear units to be built in the United States in three decades. When complete, Plant Vogtle will be the only four unit nuclear facility in the country.
The basemat concrete placement was completed in just under 41 hours. The efficiency of this placement matches the best time achieved worldwide. The Unit 4 placement encompassed approximately 7,000 cubic yards of concrete, which will serve as the foundation for all of the nuclear island structures, including the containment vessel and the shield building. It covered an area approximately 250 feet long and 160 feet wide at its widest point, and the concrete measured six feet in thickness.
Approximately 600 workers, including 500 craft workers representing the building and construction trades, participated in this milestone as part of a coordinated effort between Georgia Power, Southern Nuclear, Westinghouse and CB&I.
The Unit 4 nuclear island has been fully formed and backfilled to grade elevation. The containment vessel bottom head and supporting CR10 cradle are completed and will be placed on the Unit 4 nuclear island following concrete curing. In parallel, the Unit 4 turbine building foundation has been completed and wall sections are currently being placed that also will take the turbine building to grade elevation.
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“As we reach the midpoint in the historic construction of units 3 and 4, the visible progress at the site is setting the stage for a secure energy future for Georgia and the rest of the country,” said Buzz Miller, Georgia Power Nuclear Development executive vice president and president of Southern Nuclear Development.
The Vogtle 3 and 4 project is part of Georgia Power's long-term, strategic vision for providing energy for Georgians for decades to come. It is the largest job-producing project in the state, employing approximately 5,000 people during peak construction and creating 800 permanent jobs when the plant begins operating.
Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is overseeing construction and will operate the two new 1,100-megawatt AP1000 units for Georgia Power and co-owners Oglethorpe Power Corp, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities. Georgia Power owns 45.7 percent of the new units.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.