Thomas A. Fanning
Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer at Southern
Thank you, Scott. Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us today. As you can see from the materials we released this morning, we reported strong adjusted results for the third quarter. The economies in our service territories continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular, customer growth continues to exceed our expectations. Given results through September, we expect full year adjusted earnings per share to be above the top end of our guidance range. Dan will share more on this in a moment. So lets begin with an update on Vogtle Units three and 4. Two weeks ago, we updated our expected completion time line for both units, extending the in-service dates by three months. For Unit 3, following the completion of hot functional testing, we completed walk downs of the 158 safety-related rooms within the nuclear island to assess the extent of remediation work required consistent with the electrical installation quality issues we highlighted earlier this year. The number of instances of items needing remediation found during our full assessment process, however, exceeded our estimate from July.
The change in the Unit three schedule into the third quarter of 2022 is primarily a function of the time needed to address the full scope of the remaining remediation work, and to account for the impact on productivity resulting from higher-than-expected attrition and slower-than-expected onboarding of new electricians, field engineers and supervisors. For Unit 4, recent progress has slowed as craft labor and support resources have been temporarily shifted to support Unit 3s completion effort. Considering this decrease in available resources over the next several months, plus recent productivity trends, we now expect Unit four in service during the second quarter of 2023. Importantly, with the corrective actions the site has implemented after discovery of the unit quality issues, including reinforcement of the importance of first-time quality with craft personnel and improvements to the application of Bechtels quality program, we believe that as we turn systems over on Unit 4, the amount of remediation work required will be less than what we experienced on Unit 3. During the third quarter, consistent with the surrounding areas, the site experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases that approached the peak of cases we experienced early in 2021.
While the availability of vaccines and well-established protocols help preclude the same degree of disruption experienced during the first waves of COVID-19, the pandemic was certainly a contributing factor to overall productivity and resource availability. For Unit 3, repairs to the spent fuel pool, system turnovers and ITAAC submittals continued throughout the third quarter. Repairs to the spent fuel pool are now complete and the next major milestone for Unit three will be the receipt of the 103G letter from the NRC. To date, 242 ITAAC have been submitted to the NRC with 156 remaining. On slide seven of todays earnings call deck, we have included a forecast of the remaining ITAAC submittals required to support a projected May 2022 fuel load and third quarter 2022 projected in-service date. Now considering our recent volume of ITAAC submittals in October, and the expected completion and turnover of significant systems in the months ahead, the site is targeting ITAAC completion earlier than what is indicated in this forecast, which would provide margin to Unit 3s remaining schedule. We expect to use the time between ITAAC completion and fuel load to finalize the non-safety-related elements of the plant and to complete any remaining pre-fuel load testing. Turning now to Unit 4. Direct construction is now approximately 89% complete.
Our revised projected in-service date of the second quarter 2023 reflects the temporary shift of services to Unit 3, recent productivity trends on bulk electrical work and ongoing efforts to add craft labor and nonmanual field support resources in support of first-time quality and productivity. Construction completion for Unit four has averaged 1.4% per month since the start of the year. To achieve a second quarter 2023 in-service date, we estimate that Unit four would need to average approximately 1% construction completion per month through the end of 2022. From a cost perspective, Georgia Powers share of the total project capital cost forecast increased by $264 million, largely driven by our updated schedule, productivity consistent with recent trends, the cost of additional resources to complete the full scope for remaining work with necessary focus on quality, and the replenishment of contingency. As a result, Georgia Power recorded an after-tax charge of $197 million during the third quarter.
We remain committed to the credit quality of Georgia Power and Southern Company, and we will continue to seek to maintain strong credit metrics for both entities. Our priority is bringing unit -- Vogtle Units three and four safely online to provide Georgia with a reliable, carbon-free energy resource for the next 60 to 80 years. We are committed to taking the time to get it right and will not sacrifice safety or quality to meet schedule. At Unit 3, we are working to submit remaining ITAAC to support receipt of the 103G letter prior to fuel load and commercial operations in 2022. For Unit 4, we remain focused on attracting and retaining necessary craft labor and support resources, as well as first-time quality as we work to increase productivity and progress towards the start of open vessel testing, which is now projected by the second quarter of 2022. Dan, Ill turn the call over now to you for an update on the financials.