Watts Bar Unit 2 operates under own power for first time - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Watts Bar Unit 2 operates under own power for first time

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TVA's Watts Bar Nuclear Plant. TVA's Watts Bar Nuclear Plant.

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s second Watts Bar nuclear reactor reached a major milestone early Monday morning when it operated under its own power for the first time. 

Watts Bar Unit 2 achieved its first sustained nuclear fission reaction around 2:16 a.m. Monday, TVA announced. 

Watts Bar Unit 2 is the first new nuclear plant in the U.S. in the 21st century.  

However, some have previously criticized the project for delays and rising costs. 

Like Unit 1, Watts Bar Unit 2 is designed to produce electricity by using controlled nuclear fission to generate heat, which is then used to produce steam to turn turbines and a single, large generator. 

TVA said the power levels will be slowly increased as part of testing during the next few weeks. 

Once Unit 2 is fully online, together, Watts Bar will supply enough power for roughly 1.3 million homes.

Go to the TVA’s website for more information

WBIR contributed to this story. 

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