Vogtle Electric Generating Plant

GP VogtleVogtleGP Vogtle 14
GP Vogtle
GP Vogtle 14

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) granted initial authorization to build two new nuclear power generating units at the Plant Vogtle.  In 2009, Southern Nuclear Operating Company received an Early Site Permit (ESP) and Limited Work Authorization (LWA) from the NRC.  These allowed limited safety-related construction activities at the site prior to obtaining a Construction and Operating License (COL). The anticipated cost of the project is approximately $14 Billion.

As a subconsultant to CB&I, our team performed geotechnical borings and laboratory testing of soils for the Balance of Plant (BOP) structures and systems. Facilities included a cask transfer facility, dry storage equipment building, and diesel fuel off-loading station. The project also included a radioactive material & outage equipment storage building, heavy-lift crane foundation, and raw water intake structure. In addition, the site included a wastewater discharge structure, batch plant, offices, warehouses, and storage tanks.

S&ME performed 110 test borings using a combination of mud-rotary and hollow stem auguring techniques. The exploration and testing program comprised over 5600 linear feet of soil drilling. The program also included hundreds of soil classification tests such as moisture content, sieve analysis, and Atterberg limits. Upon completion, the team backfilled all boreholes with a cement-bentonite grout.

S&ME engineers also served as Subcontractor Field Inspectors (SFI) during the geotechnical exploration. Responsibilities included directing the drilling crew to ensure safe working conditions and implementation of the client’s QA plan. S&ME also provided continuous tracking of production and schedule as well as safety documentation. The drilling program was completed on schedule, including a second phase of borings that were added to the original scope. Throughout the work, CB&L on-site personnel expressed their satisfaction with S&ME’s dedication to safety, quality of work (QA), professional attitude, and overall workmanship.


  • Geotechnical exploration for nuclear power plant expansion