Roughly one year away from its regulatory-approved in-service date of November 2021 for Plant Vogtle Unit 3 (at left), Georgia Power recently announced that it has completed cold hydro testing for the new unit. According to the utility, this testing “confirmed the reactor’s coolant system functions as designed and verified that the welds, joints, pipes and other components of the coolant system and associated high-pressure systems do not leak when under pressure.” During this testing, the reactor coolant system was filled with water and pressurized above-normal operating conditions, then lowered to normal design pressure while comprehensive inspections were conducted, says the utility. When completed, Unit 3 will be the first of two new units delivered by the utility’s nuclear expansion project near Waynesboro, Ga. “Every milestone achieved at the Vogtle 3 and 4 project represents another major step toward operations of the first new nuclear units in the U.S. in more than 30 years,” stated Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. He added: “Completion of cold hydro testing not only helps pave the way for initial fuel load, it also moves us closer to bringing online a carbon-free asset that will provide clean energy for our customers, our state and the country for the next 60 to 80 years.” The utility estimates construction of Vogtle Unit 3 is 94% complete, with the total expansion project roughly 88% complete.


In mid-September, contractor Robins & Morton used Facebook Live to hold a virtual groundbreaking to celebrate the start of construction on the AdventHealth Port Orange Freestanding Emergency Department project in Port Orange, Fla. Designed by Orlando-based HuntonBrady, the 18,400-sq-ft, 24-bed structure will include full imaging and laboratory services, a trauma room, bariatric room and two dedicated pediatric-friendly rooms. “We look forward to building a facility that will give the community more convenient access to health care,” said Angel Colon, Robins & Morton senior project manager. Added Ed Noseworthy, CEO of AdventHealth Daytona Beach: “The Port Orange area is growing fast, and we want to keep pace with the needs of the community.” The facility is scheduled to open in 2021.