The most recent core reload design verification physics testing done at Southern Nuclear Company’s (SNC) Vogtle Unit 2, performed prior to initial power operations in operating cycle 12, was successfully completed while the reactor was at least 1% ΔK/K subcritical. The testing program used was the first application of the Subcritical Physics Testing (SPT) program developed by the Westinghouse Electric Company LLC. The SPT program centers on the application of the Westinghouse Subcritical Rod Worth Measurement (SRWM) methodology that was developed in cooperation with the Vogtle Reactor Engineering staff. The SRWM methodology received U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approval in August of 2005. The first application of the SPT program occurred at Vogtle Unit 2 in October of 2005. The results of the core design verification measurements obtained during the SPT program demonstrated excellent agreement with prediction, demonstrating that the predicted core characteristics were in excellent agreement with the actual operating characteristics of the core. This paper presents an overview of the SPT Program used at Vogtle Unit 2 during operating cycle 12, and a discussion of the critical path outage time savings the SPT program is capable of providing.

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