Watts Bar Unit 2 Project Focuses On Systems Completion

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Work on Watts Bar Nuclear Plant’s Unit 2 reactor remains on schedule and on budget, and the project team has shifted its focus from large-scale construction to completion and testing of individual plant systems.

The Tennessee Valley Authority on Thursday released its sixth quarterly update on the progress of the Watts Bar 2 project, covering the August-October 2013 period.

"As the team continued to meet safety, quality, cost and schedule targets, we shifted our focus onto completing commodities, like valves and hangers, within specific systems and releasing those systems for testing. This is moving the project toward our major completion milestones,” said Mike Skaggs, TVA senior vice president for Watts Bar Operations and Construction.

Specific systems are tied to certain milestones, and the schedule provides a logical sequence for completing and testing those systems.

“Two of those systems were released for pre-operational startup testing ahead of schedule during the quarter,” Mr. Skaggs said. “More than 35 additional systems are expected to begin startup testing this year, and we are moving toward several key project milestones, starting with open vessel testing.”

Open vessel testing involves pumping water through systems that are used when shutting down the reactor. This testing is scheduled to begin in the spring.

In addition to the shift in focus from construction activities, highlights of the sixth quarter included:

  • Safety performance remained strong, with workers achieving more than 22.8 million work-hours without a lost-time incident, dating back to March 2010.
  • The Quality Control Acceptance Rate remained high, with 97 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.

Since TVA’s board of directors approved a revised estimate to complete (ETC) Watts Bar Unit 2 in April 2012, TVA has provided quarterly updates, reviewing the project status and how costs and challenges are being managed.

Estimated completion of Watts Bar 2 is projected between September 2015 and June 2016, with a most likely completion date of December 2015.

The revised ETC included additional funding of $1.5 billion to $2 billion; the total cost for completing the unit is expected to be between $4 billion and $4.5 billion.

Challenges to the project include completing complex work and required documentation; completing and testing shared systems without impacting Unit 1’s safe and reliable operation; addressing regulatory and licensing issues, and successfully transitioning the site into dual-unit operation.

“As TVA pursues a more balanced generation portfolio to meet the needs of the Tennessee Valley, nuclear power becomes increasingly important as a key source of reliable, carbon-free, low-cost energy,” Mr. Skaggs said. “Watts Bar Unit 2 plays a vital role in these plans, and the entire team is committed to completing the project in a safe manner, on time and within budget.”

About 3,300 workers are at the Watts Bar 2 project, which will be TVA’s seventh nuclear unit.  Watts Bar 2 will add 1,100 megawatts of electricity, providing enough energy for approximately 650,000 homes.

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.


Tennessee Supreme Court Clarifies Standard Of Appellate Review

The Tennessee Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion, clarified the standard of appellate review for a trial court’s decision regarding judicial diversion. When a case is appealed, the court must determine what standard of review applies. In this case, the defendant argued that the Court of Criminal Appeals used the wrong standard when reviewing the trial court’s decision ... (click for more)

Special Supreme Court Denies Hooker's Petition To Rehear

The Tennessee Special Supreme Court has issued an order denying John Jay Hooker’s Petition to Rehear the case in which he challenged the constitutionality of the state’s judicial selection process. Mr. Hooker filed the petition with the Court March 27, seeking a rehearing on the issue of the constitutionality of the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) under the Tennessee ... (click for more)

Catoosa Man Convicted Of Sexual Abuse Of 5 Young Girls Gets Life Plus 250 Years

A Catoosa County man convicted of the sexual abuse of five young girls and possession of child pornography has been sentenced to life plus 250 years. James Martin Ferris, 34, was found guilty after a recent trial. The day after his conviction, Judge Ralph Van Pelt set the sentence. Ferris on June 5, 2013, was indicted by the Catoosa County Grand Jury on 46 counts.   ... (click for more)

Rev. Jesse Jackson To Be Guest Speaker At City-Wide Peace And Love Rally On Friday

Rev. Jesse Jackson will be the speaker at the City Wide Peace and Love Rally at Olivet Baptist Church, 740 East ML King Blvd.,  on Friday, from 5:15-7 p.m. Rev. Jackson is the founder and president of Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Cedric Pendleton, actor and humanitarian with Have and Have Nots/House of Payne/Fantasia Story, will be the special guest. (click for more)

Use The Current Rail System Already In Place - And Response

Why spend $20 million or more on an unproven system to run from the Southside of Chattanooga when we already have the beginnings of a system?  The question apparently has surfaced of why the Choo Choo City doesn't have a rail line. We do have a rail line with the Tennessee Valley RR Museum and their hardware. And they already make runs from the Southside to close to Enterprise ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Clemson Prayer And Much More

Clemson’s football program, which has won 11 games in each of the past two years and was ranked 8 th in the nation after whipping Ohio State in this year’s Orange Bowl, has just been “blind-sided.” The Freedom from Religion Foundation claims Coach Dabo Sweeney and his staff are doing far too much “to promote Christianity to their student athletes.” Clemson promptly roared back ... (click for more)