David McKinney, Southern Nuclear’s vice president of construction support for Vogtle 3 and 4, revealed the contractors new estimated dates of “early to mid 2017, 2018” in a hearing Tuesday before the Georgia Public Service Commission.
The company continues to negotiate those dates with the contractors, said McKinney, who testified that there’s “potential for making up time.” Both sides have sued each other in separate disputes. The first is over paying for delays associated with backfilling two excavation sites. The second stems from delays getting certain key licenses to build Vogtle. Once those commercial issues are resolved, McKinney said, it will be easier to set a firm, long-term schedule.
The new reactors at Vogtle are the first to be built from scratch in the United States in 30 years. Georgia Power officials acknowledged that the project is under intense regulatory scrutiny from a cost and safety standpoint.
Workers are hoping to pour several hundred thousand cubic yards of concrete for the foundation of Vogtle Unit 3 during the third week of December. The process, originally scheduled for May, will use nearly two-dozen concrete trucks and take nearly two days to complete. Known as the “nuclear island,” the concrete will form the foundation for the reactors.
“We’re not going to pour concrete for this project until we get it right,” McKinney said.