WINNSBORO — Traffic patterns were significantly altered last week as state-of-the-art nuclear equipment made the final leg of its journey to nuclear reactor construction sites in Jenkinsville.
The equipment was a deareator supplied by Toshiba that is used to purify water by removing dissolved gases from feed water used to generate steam. Using purified water to make steam and turn the plant’s turbines prevents corrosion which helps reduce maintenance and operating costs.
Rhonda O’Banion with SCANA said the deaerator for V.C. Summer Nuclear Station Unit 2 arrived from Korea to the Port of Charleston on April 30, 2013.
“The deaerator is approximately 148 feet long, 19 feet tall, and 18 feet in diameter. It weighs about 605,000 pounds. It could not be transported by rail because it is too long to navigate the curves of railroad tracks,” she said.”This shipment required careful coordination with multiple parties including local and state law enforcement and governmental agencies to minimize disruption to traffic and ensure safe delivery to the construction site.”
The journey by truck followed the equipment’s being offloaded to a heavy-haul transporter in Charleston and being taken to Lake Marion by barge over the course of approximately 20 hours.
SCANA did its best to ensure the equipment traveled during non-peak traffic hours whenever possible. At places along the route, the shoulders of the roads were widened to facilitate the equipment making sharp turns. The device was too wide for rail transport, a preferred method of shipping components, hence the slow drive from Charleston to Jenkinsville.
Workers had to remove power lines in advance of the shipment. Thanks to their efforts and the logistical planning, Fairfield County traffic returned to normal by Friday evening.
SCE&G and state-owned utility Santee Cooper are building two new reactors in Fairfield County where V.C. Summer Unit 1 has been in commercial operation for 30 years. Unit 2 is scheduled to go online in 2017, followed by Unit 3 in 2018.
“About 1,600 workers are currently on the construction site. The project will provide approximately 3,000 to 3,500 jobs at the peak of construction,” according to O’Banion. “There will be about 800 full-time employees once construction is complete. This is in addition to the approximately 800 workers currently employed at V.C. Summer Unit 1, which has been safely operating for 30 years.”