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VC Summer 3 Foundation Completed; Nuclear Construction at Second Reactor Starts

Nov. 7, 2013—South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. completed the nuclear island basemat at V.C. Summer Reactor 3 this week, marking another significant milestone for one of the first new reactors under construction in the United States in three decades. The concrete pour means nuclear construction is under way for both new Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at the Fairfield, S.C., site.

 

 

SCE&G’s Nov. 4 completion of the nuclear island basemat for V.C. Summer Unit 3 comes just seven months after Unit 2’s was finished. Photo from SCE&G.

 

The 6-foot-thick concrete basemat, which forms the foundation for the containment and nuclear island auxiliary buildings, was completed Nov. 4 after a continuous 43-hour operation. The basemat is made up of 7,000 cubic yards of concrete and covers a surface area totaling 32,000 square feet, or about the equivalent of one and a half football fields.

The concrete pour for Reactor 2 in March took just over 51 hours (see Nuclear Energy Overview, March 14).

“We are again proud to have accomplished such a significant milestone as our new construction project progresses,” Kevin Marsh, SCANA’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. Plant operator and majority owner SCE&G is a subsidiary of SCANA.

“Thanks to the lessons we learned from the Unit 2 concrete pour … we were able to complete this milestone safely and even more efficiently,” Westinghouse Electric Co. Nuclear Power Plants Senior Vice President Jeff Benjamin said.

Lessons learned from the first basemat pour resulted in modifications to concrete pumps and the placement plan, allowing the process to be completed faster while maintaining a high level of quality.

“Quality control inspectors performed additional in-process inspections prior to the placement, which reduced final inspection time,” SCANA spokesperson Rhonda O’Banion said.

“We have come a long way since getting our combined construction and operating licenses in March 2012, and this milestone gets us one step closer to the finish line and the many benefits these units will provide for our state,” said Lonnie Cooper, president and CEO of Santee Cooper, partial owner of the Summer station.

Upcoming milestones for Unit 3 construction include constructing the CR10 containment vessel bottom head support module, O’Banion said.

Summer 2 is scheduled for completion in late 2017 or early 2018, followed by Reactor 3.