TVA Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Begins Refueling Outage For Unit 1

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 1 reactor began a scheduled refueling outage on Monday after generating low-cost, carbon-free electricity for more than 500 days.

During the outage, 88 fuel assemblies will be replaced and maintenance will be performed that cannot be done while the generating unit is online. Construction on Watts Bar Unit 2 is continuing during the Unit 1 refueling.

“The focus of every refueling outage is to perform thousands of tasks in a scheduled timeframe safely and efficiently,” said Chris Church, Watts Bar site vice president. “However, this outage takes on special significance because it will be our final opportunity to complete projects that support the beginning of pre-operational testing for Watts Bar Unit 2 in the coming months.

“Our goal is to perform high-quality maintenance to ensure that post outage, Unit 1 will continue to supply reliable, low-cost, carbon-free electricity to the Tennessee Valley while we complete essential Unit 2 tasks that will boost TVA’s nuclear power output by 14 percent when Unit 2 comes online,” he said.

More than 800 contractor workers will supplement Watts Bar employees during the refueling outage, a project requiring more than 95,000 work-hours. Including the Unit 2 construction workforce, Watts Bar will have nearly 5,000 workers onsite during the refueling project.

“Our refueling outage brings a larger number of nuclear professionals to the site, helping to boost the regional economy,” Church added. “We plan, train and prepare each worker to maintain nuclear safety at all times.”

At full capacity, Watts Bar Unit 1 produces 1,100 megawatts of electricity, enough to power approximately 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’s second nuclear unit continues to meet completion targets for safety, quality, cost and schedule. Watts Bar Unit 2 remains on track for a most likely completion date of December 2015, within the estimated completion range of between September 2015 and June 2016. Work at Unit 2 has shifted from large-scale "bulk" construction to completing and testing individual plant systems.

TVA also operates three generating units at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Athens, Al., and two units at the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant near Soddy Daisy.


Cleveland To Receive $1,195,000 Loan For Water System Improvements

Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau Friday announced that seven communities and one Utility District have been approved to receive over $33.4 million in low-interest loans for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements, including Cleveland which will receive a $1,195,000 loan for water distribution system ... (click for more)

Tennessee Sees Significant Decreases In County Jobless Rates

Following the lowest state unemployment rate in nearly 20 years, Tennessee’s county unemployment rates for May 2017 have decreased in 94 counties and remained the same in 1, according to data released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.  Davidson County has the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate at 2.1 percent, a decline from 2.7 ... (click for more)

Charles Arthur Kyle, 29, Shot Early Sunday Morning

Charles Arthur Kyle, 29, was shot early Sunday morning.   Chattanooga Police responded at 1:30 a.m. to a person who had been shot. The victim was transported to a local hospital via a personally-owned vehicle. He was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound.   Kyle advised that he was in a physical altercation with another person when he was shot. ... (click for more)

Wilkins Found With 2 Stolen Vehicles After Homeowner Catches Him In Break-In

Authorities said Jesse Lee Wilkins was found with two stolen vehicles after a resident on Thursday caught him stealing items from his residence on Cave Lane. Wilkins, 29, of 2906 E. 43rd St., was charged with aggravated burglary and two counts of theft over $1,000. When deputies arrived on a burglary call, they found Wilkins and the resident standing in the driveway. He said ... (click for more)

Exempt Volunteer Fire Departments From Procurement Policies - And Response (2)

The Hamilton County Commission just grouped a bunch of departments together in an attempt to reign in the CVB. I haven't spoken to any commissioners, but I truly believe it was unknowingly. By mandating that all non profits that receive 25 percent of their revenue follow county procurement policies, they might as well have padlocked all local volunteer fire departments. We expect ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Deadly ‘Holy Trinity’

If you have grown tired and calloused to America’s horrifying opioid epidemic, please consider what the epidemic has become. A report last week found that, in the United States, emergency room cases including opioid abuse jumped a staggering 99 percent between 2009 and 2014. It is believed that last year over 60,000 Americans died from drug overdoses and – far worse – more than ... (click for more)