TVA's Watts Bar Unit 2 over 90 percent complete - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

TVA's Watts Bar Unit 2 over 90 percent complete

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Source: TVA Source: TVA
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant’s Unit 2 reactor is more than 90 percent complete and moving through key testing to become the nation’s first new nuclear generation of the 21st century.

TVA officials tell Channel 3 the Watts Bar Unit 2 continues to meet safety and quality targets and remains on schedule and within budget to become the first U.S. reactor to generate “new” power in nearly two decades, and the first since Watts Bar Unit 1 in 1996.

These tests are critical as we move toward receiving approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to load fuel by our most likely date in June 2015, and to begin operation later that year,” said Mike Skaggs, TVA senior vice president for Watts Bar Operations and Construction.

Watts Bar Unit 2 is projected to begin commercial operation between September 2015 and June 2016, with a most likely date by December 2015. The project has a projected completion cost between $4 billion and $4.5 billion, with a most likely target of $4.2 billion.

“Most of the major construction work is concluding,” Skaggs added. “We are making systems, structures and components like new and are making sure they operate according to TVA, industry and technical standards. We have a lot of complex and challenging work still to go.”

Watts Bar will be the one of the first nuclear plants in the country to complete post-Fukushima safety upgrades required by the NRC. Enhancements include a new hardened FLEX equipment storage building designed to withstand earthquakes, floods and other incidents similar to what happened in Japan.

“Our FLEX enhancements help demonstrate the level of commitment by TVA and the nuclear power industry to the safety of our workers and the public,” Skaggs said.

Safety performance also remains strong at the project, with workers achieving more than 27 million work hours without a lost-time incident through the reporting period.
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