published Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

TVA's Watts Bar nuclear reactor has scheduled outage

  • photo
    Steam rises from the cooling tower of the single operating reactor at TVA's Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in Spring City, Tenn.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

SPRING CITY, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 1 reactor in Spring City is undergoing a scheduled outage for refueling.

According to TVA, outages typically last around a month. During that time workers will replace 88 fuel assemblies and perform other maintenance that cannot be done while the unit is online. More than 800 contractor workers will supplement the work of the Watts Bar employees.

At full capacity, Watts Bar Unit 1 produces 1,100 megawatts of electricity. That's enough to power about 650,000 average Tennessee Valley homes. This will be the 12th refueling outage for the unit, which came online in 1996.

Construction on Watts Bar Unit 2 will continue during the Unit 1 refueling and remains on track for a most likely completion date of December 2015.

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