published Thursday, February 16th, 2012

New nuclear reactor at Watts Bar behind schedule and over budget

  • photo
    The cooling tower of the single operating reactor at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant belches steam in Spring City, Tenn.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The second nuclear reactor at TVA's Watts Bar Nuclear Plant will not be completed on schedule and will be over budget.

Tennessee Valley Authority President and CEO Tom Kilgore updated the government utility's board on Thursday during a meeting in Chattanooga.

Kilgore said Watts Bar Unit 2 in Spring City, Tenn., will not be finished by 2013 as was expected when the board approved its construction schedule in 2007. Kilgore also told board members the project will exceed its $2.49 billion budget. It is unclear by how much.

However, Kilgore assured the board that the unit will still be a cost-effective generator of electricity.

TVA, owned by the federal government, provides electricity to about 9 million people across Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

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