By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published July 31, 2023
Georgia Power declared today that Vogtle Unit 3 has entered commercial operation and is now serving customers and the State of Georgia. Georgia Power is a wholly-owned affiliate of the Southern Company.
Vogtle Unit 3 is the first newly-constructed nuclear unit in the U.S. in over 30 years and is expected to power an estimated 500,000 homes and businesses.
Nuclear energy currently provides approximately 25% of Georgia Power’s overall energy mix, including the existing units at Plant Vogtle and Georgia’s other nuclear facility at Plant Hatch in Baxley, Georgia.
The final stages of construction and testing continue at Vogtle Unit 4, a companion to Unit 3. Unit 4 is projected to be placed in service during the late fourth quarter 2023 or the first quarter of 2024. Unit 4 completed hot functional testing in May. The Vogtle site has also received nuclear fuel for Unit 4.
Last week, Georgia Power announced the receipt of the 103(g) finding from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for Vogtle Unit 4. This finding was confirmed in an official letter received by Southern Nuclear Operating Company and signifies that Unit 4 has been constructed and will be operated in conformance with the Combined License and NRC regulations. No further NRC findings are necessary in order for Southern Nuclear to load fuel or begin the startup sequence for the Unit 4.
Southern Nuclear will operate the Units 3 and 4 on behalf of the co-owners: Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities.
Because Units 3 and 4 are riddled with design and engineering flaws, shoddy construction, poor quality controls, and the falsification of testing records, some nuclear experts have predicted that Vogtle Unit 3 will experience a Level 7 nuclear disaster within 90 days after it reaches 100% power in its commercial operations. This prediction was affirmed again today.
A Level 7 nuclear event is on the scale of the worst nuclear disasters at Chernobyl in the old Soviet Union in 1986 and Fukushima in Japan in 2011. Over the course of time, up to 60,000 people within a 40-mile radius of Vogtle will die from radiation poisoning and related illnesses.
Based upon industry reports, Units 3 and 4 have the highest pre-operational testing failure rates among the nation’s 92 nuclear power plants. The testing failures at Units 3 and 4 were non-stop.
The Southern Company, acting through affiliates Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear Operating Company, has successfully hoodwinked, gaslighted, and flat-out lied to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) repeatedly and relentlessly since construction started on these Units 3 and 4 in 2009.
The Southern Company's nefarious activities, coupled with a healthy dose of influence peddling and strategic “dark money” contributions to federal and state political entities, enabled Georgia Power to bring Unit 3 into commercial service despite its fatal design and engineering flaws.
The Boeing Company performed a similar political feat when federal aviation regulators allowed the company to place its new 737 MAX passenger jets into commercial service despite fatal design and engineering flaws that were known to cause these new airplanes to crash at an unacceptably high rate per 5-year period. As a result, 346 passengers and crew members died shortly after takeoff in two separate crashes of the new 737 MAX jets that were less than five months apart. After the second fatal crash, all 737 MAX airplanes were grounded worldwide for more than two years.
The project development scenario for Vogtle Units 3 and 4 is similar to what occurred at Boeing with the new 737 MAX airplanes, but with much deadlier consequences in the making. At Vogtle Units 3 and 4, no federal, state, or local government agency has safeguarded and protected the public's interest in ensuring compliance with the highest standards of public safety during the 14-year design, construction, and testing phases that preceded the regulatory decision to place Vogtle Unit 3 into commercial service today.