Watts Bar Unit 2 Over 90 Percent Complete, Key Milestones Ahead

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant’s Unit 2 reactor is more than 90 percent complete and moving through key testing to become the nation’s first new nuclear generation of the 21st century.

In the eighth quarterly report since TVA revised its Estimate to Complete the project, TVA said Monday that Watts Bar Unit 2 continues to meet safety and quality targets and remains on schedule and within budget to become the first U.S. reactor to generate “new” power in nearly two decades, and the first since Watts Bar Unit 1 in 1996.

Watts Bar Unit 2 is projected to begin commercial operation between September 2015 and June 2016, with a most likely date 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.

Testing of individual and combined plant systems is under way, TVA said in the latest quarterly update, covering February to April 2014. The first major system test, called Open Vessel Testing, began ahead of schedule during the period and was completed earlier this summer. OVT involves pumping water into the reactor vessel through systems used when shutting down the reactor and in support of nuclear operations.

“These tests are critical as we move toward receiving approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to load fuel by our most likely date in June 2015, and to begin operation later that year,” said Mike Skaggs, TVA senior vice president for Watts Bar Operations and Construction.

“Most of the major construction work is concluding,” Mr. Skaggs added. “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.”

Watts Bar will be the one of the first nuclear plants in the country to complete post-Fukushima safety upgrades required by the NRC. Enhancements include a new hardened FLEX equipment storage building designed to withstand earthquakes, floods and other incidents similar to what happened in Japan. The cement and steel structure houses emergency backup diesel generators, pumps and other equipment needed to keep the reactor containment cooled in the event that onsite power is lost.

“Our FLEX enhancements help demonstrate the level of commitment by TVA and the nuclear power industry to the safety of our workers and the public,” Mr. Skaggs said.

Safety performance also remains strong at the project, with workers achieving more than 27 million work hours without a lost-time incident through the reporting period.

Eighth quarter highlights included:

  • Activities were performed in a manner that resulted in a Quality Control acceptance rate of 97 percent.
  • Cost and schedule expectations were met.
  • No new risks were identified that currently affect project completion.

Challenges to the project include regulatory issues, continuing to protect the safe and reliable operation of Unit 1 while finishing Unit 2, emergent work identified during testing, and ensuring the site’s readiness for dual-unit operation.

About 3,100 workers are on the Watts Bar Unit 2 project, which will be TVA’s seventh nuclear unit. Watts Bar Unit 2 will add 1,100 megawatts of carbon-free 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.


HHM Expands To Memphis, Merges With Brundige Payne & Company

Chattanooga based certified public accounting firm,    Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough, PLLC begins implementing its growth plan by announcing the merger with Brundige Payne & Company, PC effective Aug.   1. The combined company will operate as HHM Memphis and will move ... (click for more)

Bellhops Moving To Give Away 3 $1,000 Scholarships

Bellhops, a moving company servicing over 20 U.S. cities, has been pioneering the empowerment of a young workforce for over five years now, specifically growing and supporting their college based workforce of movers they call “bellhops”, said officials.  Today the Chattanooga based moving company amplified their dedication of youth empowerment with the announcement of their ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Council Votes 4-2 To Pass A 46-Cent Property Tax Increase

The Cleveland City Council, with scant public notice, voted 4-2 on first reading on Monday afternoon to approve one of the largest property tax increases in the city's history. Richard Banks, Bill Estes, Tom Cassada and Vice Mayor Avery Johnson voted for a 46-cent property tax boost. Opposed were Charlie McKenzie and David May. Dale Hughes and Mayor Tom Rowland were absent ... (click for more)

Police Find Large Cache Of Meth, $23,134 Cash On Hensley At Motel Near Hamilton Place; Police Say He Was Supplier To Rossville Man Who Died In June 29 Overdose

Chattanooga Police said they found Michael Wade Hensley with a large cache of meth, a loaded handgun and $23,134 cash after being summoned to a motel near Hamilton Place Mall last Wednesday. Police said they believe that Hensley, 41, was the supplier for a 36-year-old Rossville man who died of an overdose on June 29. Hensley is now facing federal charges of possession of meth ... (click for more)

Do Something To Protect Our Children

It is unconscionable in this day and age that these children had to exist in such deplorable conditions and that an innocent baby suffered and died alone in a locked car.  Yes, there is blame and accountability considering this family had child neglect charges filed a few years ago (that were apparently dropped and expunged) and a large part of the responsibility should ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chik-fil-A Commits To East Ridge And Camp Jordan Development

In less than three weeks after a plan that could enhance Camp Jordan in East Ridge was announced, it has been learned that a Chik-fil-A restaurant will break ground at Jordan Crossing this fall. While developers John Healy, Matt Woods and Ethan Woods cannot make a public comment, the news is every bit as profound as James Earl Jones saying, “If you build it, they will come,” in ... (click for more)