published Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Watts Bar new unit is 90 percent complete

  • photo
    The nuclear power plant towers at Watts Bar are reflected in Watt's Bar lake during a clear late evening sun set.
    Photo by Associated Press

The Tennessee Valley Authority said today its Watts Bar Nuclear Plant’s Unit 2 reactor is more than 90 percent complete and moving through key testing to become the first new U.S. nuclear reactor to generate power in the 21st century by the end of next year.

In the eighth quarterly report since TVA revised its Estimate to Complete the project, TVA said Watts Bar Unit 2 continues to meet safety and quality targets and remains on schedule and within budget. Watts Bar Unit 2 is projected to begin commercial operation most likely 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, beyond what was initially spent by TVA before it suspended work in 1988.

“Most of the major construction work is concluding,” Mike Skaggs, TVA senior vice president for Watts Bar Operations and Construction, said in a statement today. “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.”

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