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Upgrades to Plant Vogtle Unit 1 enhance the production of low-cost, carbon-free electricity

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Unit 1 of the Alvin W. Vogtle Nuclear Plant near Waynesboro, Ga., has safely resumed generating electricity following completion of a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage.

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Plant operators safely took the unit offline on March 16. Electricity production resumed on April 14 at 5:08 p.m. ET. The last refueling outage for Unit 1 was completed in fall 2012.

"Safety is our top priority, and our team is to be commended for completing this outage safely and efficiently," said Tom Tynan, site vice president for Vogtle units 1 and 2.

"In the last fuel cycle, Unit 1 achieved maximum performance, providing low-cost, carbon-free electricity for more than 513 consecutive days," he continued. "The work performed during this outage is a significant investment in ensuring the safe and reliable production of electricity for the next 18 months."

In addition to refueling the reactor and performing regular maintenance and testing, workers made upgrades to plant systems and components.

More than 1,000 additional workers from Westinghouse, General Electric, Williams and other companies came to the plant to perform special tasks. Employees from across the Southern Nuclear fleet also assisted Vogtle's team in the refueling effort. These additional workers provided considerable economic stimulus to surrounding communities during their stay in the area.

About Southern Nuclear: 
Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), is one of the nation's leading nuclear energy facility operators. Producing safe, reliable and environmentally friendly nuclear energy, Southern Nuclear operates a total of six units for Alabama Power and Georgia Power at the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant near Dothan, Ala.; the Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant near Baxley, Ga., and the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Waynesboro, Ga. Southern Nuclear is the licensee of two new nuclear units currently under construction at Plant Vogtle, which will be the first nuclear units constructed in the United States in more than 30 years. Southern Nuclear employs more than 3,500 skilled and dedicated professionals who are committed each day to nuclear and personal safety and the health and safety of the public. The company's headquarters is based in Birmingham, Ala. Twitter: @SouthernNuclear.

About Southern Company: 
With 4.4 million customers and more than 43,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for energy innovation, excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company and its subsidiaries are leading the nation's nuclear renaissance through the construction of the first new nuclear units to be built in a generation of Americans and are demonstrating their commitment to energy innovation through the development of a state-of-the-art coal gasification plant. Southern Company has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer and listed by DiversityInc as a top company for Blacks. The company received the 2012 Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new nuclear development, was named Electric Light & Power magazine's Utility of the Year for 2012 and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.

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SOURCE Southern Company

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