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Delays and cost overruns hit Watts Bar work

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SPRING CITY, TN (Times Free Press) -- The biggest construction project in Southeast Tennessee will take longer and be more expensive than originally forecast.

The Tennessee Valley Authority disclosed Friday that finishing the second reactor at its Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant will take at least a year longer than the five years planned for the project. In its quarterly financial filing, TVA also said the Watts Bar project likely will cost significantly more than the $2.5 billion price tag put on finishing the reactor when TVA directors approved the project in August 2007.

TVA officials blamed the delays on the sluggish pace of equipment installation by construction crews and the potential for extra requirements imposed after the meltdown in Japan of the Fukushima nuclear plant.

An environmental critic of the Watts Bar project said he fears TVA oversold the Watts Bar project with optimistic cost and schedule estimates prepared by contractors later hired to perform much of the work on the multibillion-dollar project.

Read more about this story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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