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Plant Vogtle: The $30,3 billion US nuclear plant that promises to be the world's most reliable source of carbon-free nuclear power

Written by Valdemar Medeiros
Published 04/06/2024 às 10:01
Plant Vogtle The $30,3 billion US nuclear plant that promises to be the world's most reliable source of carbon-free nuclear power
Photo: Plant Vogtle – the revolutionary nuclear power plant

The future of nuclear energy could be modeled after the Plant Vogtle plant with its innovative method of producing energy without carbon emissions.

It is not difficult to notice that, around us, a great evolution in the production of nuclear energy is taking place in the world. Despite the major incident in Chernobyl – which put the idea of ​​nuclear plants to sleep for a while – there are new projects underway in various parts of the world, such as the United States, for example. The Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant, located in Georgia, USA, has become the symbol of the resurgence of nuclear energy, being able to meet the demands of conventional energy, that is, electrical energy, in addition to supplying cities with wind turbine parks or even solar energy hubs.

Discover the history of the Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant

The history of the Plant Vogtle plant begins in the 70s, when Georgia Power, a large nuclear electricity utility company in the USA, began planning the project to build nuclear plants that could meet the region's energy demand, which was growing more and more every day.

In 1971, the Georgia Power project built units 1 and 2, but it was not until 1987 that unit 1 entered commercial operation. Later, in 89, unit 2 finally came into operation. Until then, the plants worked perfectly, reaching important milestones in the generation of nuclear energy without carbon emissions.

However, there has been a slowdown in the progress of Georgia Power's new nuclear plants with the completion of the Plant Vogtle plant. In addition, regulatory issues, financial crises and various concerns arose, which led the Power plant to cease part of its investments, which were of great importance for the construction of new nuclear energy plants.

The consolidation of the Plant Vogtle plant

With the progress of the Plant Vogtle plant being interrupted and forgotten more than three decades ago, the USA rescued the Vogtle project in mid-2009, due to the growing need for technological advancement in the energy area and the increased interest of large companies in generating nuclear energy without carbon emissions.

Still in 2009, with the resumption of the Plant Vogtle plant project, construction began on units 3 and 4, marking the return of nuclear energy generation in Georgia. During construction, more than 14 thousand people, including engineers, technicians, builders, operators and other professionals were engaged in the project.

Nuclear power reactors were imported from South Korea to the American continent, using ships and locomotives. They were assembled with steel alloys resistant to radiation and high temperatures, among other materials such as corrosion-proof cooling tubes, all to ensure maximum safety of the physical structure of the plant and all employees who would work there.

Impact of the Plant Vogtle power plant

Despite the commitment at the time, only unit 3 was completed, leaving unit 4 as unfinished. Vogtle's carbon-free nuclear power is considered 96% ready to date. It is estimated that, when unit 4 is completed, the Plant Vogtle plant will consolidate itself as one of the largest nuclear power plants in the USA, with the capacity to generate energy for decades to come.

Even with work on unit 4 underway, the future of the Plant Vogtle plant is surrounded by uncertainty, but also many expectations. Despite the challenges faced throughout the works, the Vogtle project shows the ability to build and operate a nuclear power plant with great precision and safety, decimating the feeling of insecurity that existed in the past.

Georgia Power CEO Chris Womack said that “When you consider the history of safe and reliable operations at Vogtle Plants 1 and 2 for decades, it puts today's milestone into perspective that Plant Vogtle will be a four-unit site, making it the largest of its kind in the US”, and concluded by saying “This is a truly exciting time as we prepare to bring into operation a new nuclear unit that will serve our state with clean, emissions-free energy for the next 60 to 80 years”.

Future of the resumption of nuclear energy in the USA

The future of the resumption of nuclear energy in the USA will depend on a series of factors and trends that will emerge in the energy sector over the years. Without a doubt, the completion of the Plant Vogtle plant project will still be marked by numerous challenges, but there is a guarantee that the carbon-free nuclear power plant will contribute positively to a more sustainable future.

And soon, the Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant could become a model to be followed by several countries around the world on how nuclear energy can be an effective, viable and safe solution for the future of the energy sector.

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Valdemar Medeiros

Journalist in training, specialist in creating content with a focus on SEO actions. Writes about the Automotive Industry, Renewable Energy and Science and Technology

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