Watts Bar Unit 2 Progress Stays On Track

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Progress on Watts Bar Nuclear Plant’s Unit 2 reactor remains on schedule and on budget more than a year after completion estimates were revised for the critical project, the Tennessee Valley Authority said Tuesday.

TVA released a fifth quarterly update on Watts Bar 2 covering the work accomplished in the 15 months after the TVA board of directors approved continuing with construction of the 1,100-megawatt unit in April 2012.

The new estimate to complete, or ETC, included additional funding of $1.5 billion to $2 billion, bringing the total cost to complete the unit to the range of $4 billion to $4.5 billion. Estimated completion of Watts Bar 2 was projected between September 2015 and June 2016. The project currently is tracking a most likely completion date of December 2015.

“Performance during the quarter continued to be consistent with the revised ETC and targets for safety, quality, cost and schedule are being met,” said Mike Skaggs, TVA senior vice president for Watts Bar Operations and Construction.

“The work in progress on Unit 2 is being completed according to a detailed plan, and bulk construction is in the final phase,” Mr. Skaggs said. “The plant is approximately 80 percent complete, and we are focusing on completing and readying plant systems for pre-operational testing.”

About 3,300 workers are engaged in the Watts Bar 2 completion project, which will be TVA’s seventh nuclear unit and have the capability to provide enough energy for approximately 650,000 Tennessee Valley homes.

Highlights of the fifth quarter, which covered May-July 2013, include:

  • Safety performance remained strong, with workers achieving more than 21.3 million work-hours without a lost-time accident, dating back to March 2010.
  • The Quality Control Acceptance Rate remained high, with 96 percent of work presented for inspection meeting quality control requirements.
  • Cost and schedule expectations were met.
  • No new risks were identified that might compromise project completion.

Significantly, three operating systems that are required for open vessel testing – the first of five functional tests designed to demonstrate Watts Bar 2 is being built to high standards of quality – were released ahead of schedule from the construction organization for pre-operational engineering tests.

The open vessel testing, which is scheduled for early 2014, involves pumping water through several systems that are used when shutting down the reactor, as well as support for other nuclear operations.

Challenges to completing Watts Bar 2 include completing complex work and required documentation; performing tests on shared Watts Bar Unit 1 and Unit 2 systems without impacting the safe and reliable operations of Unit 1; addressing regulatory and licensing issues, and successfully transitioning the site into dual-unit operation.

“TVA has invested in nuclear power as a key component in generating safe, reliable, carbon-free, low-cost energy,” Mr. Skaggs said. “Completing the Watts Bar 2 project in a safe manner, on time and within budget will validate this investment and the value of using a diverse mix of energy sources to meet the Valley’s electricity needs.”

For a copy of the Quarterly Update to the Watts Bar 2 Estimate to Complete, go to http://www.tva.com/power/nuclear/wattsbar_unit2.htm.

Chattanooga Chamber Presents Calendar Of Events For Oct. 24-28

MON/24 2016  Want to Bid on a Contract? Get the Right Certification 9 a.m. –  Noon INCubator: 100 Cherokee Blvd. Part of Chattanooga Minority Enterprise Development Week, this event is geared toward businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, service-disabled veterans, and other small business owners.  ... (click for more)

Earth Fare Opening At Site Of Former Harvest Grocery On Hixson Pike

Earth Fare, a fully stocked grocery store specializing in organic produce, will soon be opening at the former location of Harvest Grocery at 5414 Hixson Pike.   The store will also be able to sell beer after it received a license from the City Beer Board on Thursday morning.   Mareon McCrary, the store manager, has already taken the responsible vendors ... (click for more)

Domestic Assault Charge Dismissed Against Bobby Stone In Case Involving Mayor's Top Advisor; Stone Says Berke Had Inappropriate Relationship With His Wife; Says Berke And Fletcher Conspired To Arrest Him; Lacie Stone Says Charges Completely False

A charge of domestic assault was dismissed Friday morning against Bobby Stone in a case involving a top advisor to Mayor Andy Berke.  Afterward, Mr. Stone told reporters that the mayor had an inappropriate relationship with his wife, Lacie Stone. He also charged that Mayor Berke and Police Chief Fred Fletcher conspired to arrest him. Mr. Stone is expected to file ... (click for more)

Christopher Padgett Taken Into Custody

A Chattanooga man who went on the lam after cutting off his ankle monitor and failing to show up for the third day of his felony murder trial is back in custody. Christopher Padgett was arrested by Chattanooga Police in the 3200 block of South Street at 12:55 a.m.  He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Hamilton County Jail for booking. ... (click for more)

Bobby Stone, Is It Really A Win?

It brought a smile to my face this morning when I saw where the case was thrown out of court against Mr. Stone and the domestic violence charge.  I have supported his cause from the beginning, but I do feel heartbreak because his personal life had to be tossed out there for all of us to see.   I truly hope and pray things turn around for him and his wife, while I feel ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Kelly Could Win It

I am neither a sleuth nor an odds maker but I’d say there is about a one-in-three chance that Interim Hamilton County Department of Education Superintendent Kirk Kelly could become the permanent superintendent of our public schools next Thursday. I am assured something squirrelly is happening on our newly-seated school board. It has been seven months since the last superintendent ... (click for more)