The TVA Watts Bar Nuclear Plant team has commenced transferring 193 new fuel assemblies into the Unit 2 reactor vessel.
This is the first initial fuel load of a new U.S. reactor in two decades.
TVA’s Watts Bar has the distinction of having the last nuclear plant to come online in the 20th Century and will be the first to come online in the 21st Century. Watts Bar Unit 1 began operation in 1996 and Unit 2 is scheduled to start commercial operation in 2016.
The plant is located on 1,700 acres on the northern end of the Chickamauga Reservoir. Each unit produces about 1,100 megawatts of electricity—enough to service 650,000 homes—without creating any carbon emissions.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted the operating license for Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2 on Oct. 22, clearing the way for initial fuel load followed by further testing and inspections to put the nation’s first new nuclear unit of the 21st century in service.