“Milestone” reactor still at zero power

Vogtle-3_GA Power_Wikimedia Commons

The Vogtle-3 nuclear reactor in Georgia, which was hailed as a “milestone” in nuclear power advancement when it first went critical in March, is still at zero power. Two days after that March 14 “milestone”, Vogtle-3 was automatically shut down after reaching just 18 percent power before encountering an electrical issue that caused the loss of two coolant pumps.

But this week, the reactor was “scrammed” (shut down) again after reaching just 45 percent power due to a problem with reactor pumps that caused low coolant flow.

The Vogtle-3 and Vogtle-4 project, both AP1000 reactors, began more than 16 years ago, has cost upwards of $34 billion to date, at least $20 billion more than originally predicted. It was subsidized by two federal loan guarantees — $8.33 billion in 2010 during the Obama administration and an additional $3.7 billion in 2019 under Biden.

(Headline photo of Vogtle-3 by Georgia Power/Wikimedia Commons)

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