According to Steve Byrne, COO of South Carolina Electric and Gas Co. (SCE&G), 85% of the major equipment necessary to build V.C. Summer Units 2 and 3 is onsite, and of the remaining components, a lot of them are physically constructed waiting to be transported or are already loaded on ships headed to South Carolina.

The estimate, along with a detailed update on construction progress, was provided during a conference call held on February 18.

To start things off, Byrne noted that Westinghouse had completed its deal with CB&I, acquiring Stone & Webster at the end of last year. He also said that Fluor Corp. began working as a subcontracted construction manager at the nuclear construction site near Jenkinsville on January 4.

Unit 2 Containment Building Progressing Better than Anticipated

The Unit 2 containment building (Figure 1) is a critical path item on the construction schedule. That means that any delays in completing the building would ultimately delay completion of the entire project. But so far, SCE&G doesn’t see any problems with getting it built.

1. Unit 2 containment building.
Panels are placed and welded together, then filled with concrete to create the shield building. Courtesy: SCE&G

The process involves placing steel panels in a ring and welding them together. There are 16 courses total. The first six-panel course was placed during the first half of 2015, with the second six-panel course set on top of the first by the end of the year. Both of those courses have been filled with concrete and the third six-panel course was placed at the beginning of February.

“The placement, so far, I could categorize as going a little better than we had anticipated,” Byrne said.

Module Construction Continues

Construction also involves erecting many different modules and submodules in the modular assembly building (MAB). Once completed, the modules (Figure 2) are moved out of the building and installed in the plant. Byrne said modules CA01, CA04, and CA05 have been placed on Unit 2, while only CA04 is currently in place on Unit 3.

2. Schematic view of structural modules.
This expanded view shows how the five structural modules fit spatially inside the containment vessel. Courtesy: SCE&G

CA02—a wall section that forms part of the in-containment refueling water storage tank—was said to be structurally complete and awaiting installation in Unit 2. Fifteen of 17 submodules needed to construct CA03 (the west wall of the in-containment refueling water storage tank) for Unit 2 were onsite with 12 already on their assembly platform.

Progress is also being made on Unit 3. According to Byrne, Unit 3’s CA05 module was complete and staged outside the MAB and CA20—an auxiliary building module—had 68 of 72 submodules onsite, with 20 of those already positioned on the construction platform for fabrication inside the MAB.

Progress Also Made Outside of Nuclear Island

More than 2,300 cubic yards of concrete was placed for the Unit 2 turbine pedestal during a 20-hour pour in December. Byrne believed that all of the turbine generator equipment was onsite already.

Each of the units requires the installation of 10 large transformers (Figure 3) too. Byrne said that all 10 have been placed for Unit 2 and that all 10 have been received onsite for Unit 3.

3. Unit 2 transformers in place.
One of the four transformers located adjacent to the Unit 2 turbine building is being rigged into position in this photo. Courtesy: SCE&G

Byrne noted that the plant is still waiting on its reactor coolant pumps. The pumps will be constructed in the U.S., but they aren’t expected to arrive onsite until 2017. Two steam generators were still at Doosan’s facilities in South Korea. Byrne said one of those was being shipped and the other was nearing completion. He also noted that there were a couple of heat exchangers being reworked in Italy and that several submodules for Unit 3 were still being fabricated, including CA01 at facilities in Japan.

The following video was produced by SCE&G to highlight some of the progress made in 2015.

Aaron Larson, associate editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine)