South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. (SCE&G) announced the completion of another major construction milestone at its V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Fairfield County, S.C. Having completed the first new construction nuclear concrete pour just seven months earlier, SCE&G finished the nuclear island basemat for Unit 3 on Nov. 4. “This successful basemat placement is a testament to the hard work by all involved,” said Lonnie Carter, president and CEO of Santee Cooper, co-owner of the facility. “We have come a long way … and this milestone gets us one step closer to the finish line.”

The basemat provides a foundation for the containment and auxiliary buildings that are within the nuclear island. Measuring 6 feet thick, the basemat required approximately 7,000 cubic yards of concrete to cover an area about 250 feet long and 160 feet at its widest section. This approximately 43-hour continuous pour of concrete covered a surface totaling 32,000 square feet.

About 2,000 workers are currently involved in constructing two new reactors at V.C. Summer, where Unit 1 has operated for 30 years. The new nuclear project will peak at about 3,000 workers over the course of three to four years. The two 1,117-MW AP1000 units will add 600 to 800 permanent jobs once completed. (For more on the status of the project, see the November issue of POWER.)

Jeff Benjamin, nuclear power plants senior vice president for Westinghouse Electric Co., the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for the project, noted that Unit 2 has seen significant progress since the first concrete was poured for that unit. “Some of the progress includes the placement of the containment vessel bottom head and placement of the reactor vessel support module, as well as concrete placement that will enable further progress on the nuclear island. In addition, one of the cooling towers is nearing completion, two condensers are placed, and significant progress continues on major modules, the containment vessel and the auxiliary building.”

Unit 2 is expected to be online in late 2017 or early 2018, followed by Unit 3 about a year later.

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