Cybersecurity, Executive Insight, Generation, Nuclear

TVA hopes to load fuel at Watts Bar 2 nuclear power plant in March 2015

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is targeting March 2015 to start loading fuel at the Watts Bar 2 nuclear plant in Tennessee, the federal utility noted recently in documents made public by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

“Startup testing and system turnovers support a March 2015 fuel load date,” TVA said in documents presented to NRC staff July 22. The documents from the briefing were posted on an NRC web site Sept. 8.

Fukushima response, hydrology and cybersecurity actions continue to progress in support of the operating license schedule,” TVA said in the briefing papers. The purpose of the meeting in Rockville, Md., was for TVA to update the status of construction and licensing efforts for the Watts Bar 2 nuclear plant, according to GenerationHub.

TVA said Aug. 12 that work on Unit 2 of the Watts Bar nuclear plant is 90 percent complete and that roughly 3,100 workers are currently engaged in the effort to bring more than 1,100 MW of baseload energy online.

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 an estimated completion cost of between $4 billion and $4.5 billion, with a most likely target of $4.2 billion.

TVA overhauled its Watts Bar construction efforts in the spring of 2012 after running into unexpected costs and delays in trying to finish the never-completed nuclear unit where work had started, and then been suspended, decades earlier.

When the TVA board approved the project in 2007, it predicted a 60-month construction schedule and a cost of $2.49 billion.