CHATTANOOGA (Times Free Press) - For the first time in its 78-year history, TVA plans to put a nuclear power reactor on the auction block — all in hopes of raising money to complete another nuclear plant.

With the plan, TVA hopes to sell the new Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor, along with the new John Sevier combined cycle gas plant, to finance the $4.9 billion completion of Bellefonte Nuclear Plant, a 37-year-old, half-finished reactor in Hollywood, Ala.

Kim Greene, TVA group president of strategy and external relations, said Tuesday that the utility expects to raise $900 million to $1 billion for the gas plant and up to $2.5 billion on the sale of the new Watts Bar reactor, which would then be leased back to TVA.

"There have been sale/lease-backs of nuclear units in the past, and I do believe the closer we are to completion of construction, the easier it will be [to sell the reactor]," she said. "At this point, we have indications from the market that there would be an appropriate amount of interest in the Watts Bar Unit 2 facility."

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