Waterford 3 Steam Electric Station Steam Generator and Reactor Vessel Closure Head Replacement

An AECOM joint venture formed an integrated team with Waterford 3 to replace two steam generators and a reactor vessel closure head at Waterford 3, an 1159 MW pressurized water reactor nuclear plant located about 25 miles west of New Orleans.

The two steam generators (each more than 65 feet long, approximately 22 feet in diameter at the steam drum and weighing 720 tons) power the turbines that generate electricity. The reactor vessel closure head (which weighs 156 tons) is a removable top section of the reactor pressure vessel that is bolted in place during operation and then removed during refueling to permit access by the fuel-handling equipment to the core.

SGT provided project management, engineering, and construction services. Replacement services on this complex undertaking included management and outage planning (general design, safety analysis, and licensing), design engineering, construction and craft management, rigging and handling of the old and new steam generators and reactor vessel closure head, heavy haul transportation, fit-up metrology, and large-bore pipe cutting and welding. The plant design necessitated the creation of a temporary opening in the reactor containment building and closure of the opening.

The project attained zero OSHA recordables or lost time accidents with 500,000+ safe work man-hours during the replacement. Over the life of the project, the team completed more than 1.3 million man-hours with no lost time injuries.



  • Power magazine, named a Top Plant of 2013
  • Received National Safety Council Million Hour, Perfect Record, and Occupational Excellence Achievements Awards
  • Overcame logistical challenges including hurricane evacuation