ATLANTA, Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The workforce building the nation's first new nuclear energy facility in 30 years at Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle has passed a significant milestone - 10 million work hours. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121023/CL98203 ) (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20050216/CLW066LOGO ) Approximately 2,300 people are now on site at Vogtle units 3 and 4 near Waynesboro. At peak construction, the project is expected to create 5,000 onsite jobs, making it the largest job-producing project in Georgia. There will be 800 permanent jobs when the facility is operational. "We are all very proud of this accomplishment, which is an example of our uncompromising focus on safety and quality," said Joseph "Buzz" Miller, executive vice president of nuclear development for Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear. "Significant progress is being made, safely, every day on this project, which is vital to meeting the state's future energy needs." The milestone represents actual hours expended on the construction project site, beginning in 2009 with the Limited Work Authorization. The effort to build new nuclear units began in 2005, when Southern Nuclear sent a notice of intent letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission stating its intent to submit an application for an Early Site Permit for a new nuclear plant. "Reaching this tremendous milestone is a testament to the determination of our workers to do the job safely and efficiently," said Monty Glover, senior vice president, consortium general manager and project director for Shaw, the general contractor for the project. "We are very proud to be part of this historic project." Construction on the project, a $14 billion investment in Georgia's energy future, continues at an impressive pace. Significant work has been done on turbine islands, cooling towers and nuclear islands. Over the next several months, progress will continue to be made in the nuclear island, turbine building and module assemblies. The Unit 3 turbine building foundation is two-thirds complete, with about 750 tons of rebar installed and 5,800 cubic yards of concrete poured. Approximately 50,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured for the cooling tower foundations for both units, and assembly of the Unit 4 containment vessel bottom half is more than halfway complete. The world's largest heavy lift derrick, 560 feet tall, has been assembled and is ready for use in construction.