Browns Ferry Begins Largest Turbine Upgrade Since Construction; Installs Innovative Fuel Assemblies In Reactor

Monday, March 1, 2021

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Unit 2 started a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage this past weekend after generating more than 19 billion kilowatt-hours of carbon-free electricity in 654 days of reliable operation. This outage includes the largest scope of turbine deck work since original construction and innovations in fuel assembly components. 

All three of the unit’s low-pressure turbines will undergo a comprehensive replacement of major components, including new rotors, inner casings, steam piping and bellows and turbine supervisory instruments. These tasks will require the support of more than 500 additional outage workers and an incredible amount of heavy lifting – with 600 separate crane lifts of components such as rotors weighing up to 327,888 pounds and inner casings weighing up to 200,000 pounds.

Once the Unit 2 turbine project is complete, the unit will generate an estimated 7 megawatts of additional electricity, enough to power more than 4,000 additional homes. 

“TVA’s investment in Browns Ferry and the infrastructure of our power systems ensures that we can continue to provide reliable power for our local power companies and communities when they need us most,” said Browns Ferry Site Vice President Matt Rasmussen.

With these upgrades, Unit 2 will essentially have three brand-new low-pressure turbines, which help convert steam into electricity, increasing the safety and reliability of power generation well into the future. This helps support TVA’s mission of service and economic development, ensuring the energy needs of the Tennessee Valley are met, particularly during the peak demand periods of summer and winter.

While major upgrades are happening on the turbine deck, the refueling team will load four new 3D-printed fuel assembly brackets in the reactor. The brackets demonstrate the latest innovations in additive manufacturing and artificial intelligence. They will be the first of their kind loaded into a commercial reactor. The components were recently manufactured at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in a joint project with TVA and the utility’s fuel supplier, Framatome, as part of the lab’s Transformational Challenge Reactor program. 

“Being the first to use these additively manufactured components supports an innovative manufacturing approach that could pave the path for use across the existing nuclear fleet and in advanced reactors and small modular reactors,” said Dan Stout, TVA’s director of Nuclear Technology Innovation.

In total, the Unit 2 outage will feature more than 14,800 scheduled work activities, including the installation of 320 new fuel assemblies along with upgrades, modifications, repairs and testing of other plant equipment, inspections of reactor components and maintenance of key safety systems. To safely complete this outage, TVA has augmented the Browns Ferry workforce with an estimated 1,300 additional employees, including those being brought in for the turbine upgrade project.

Browns Ferry Unit 2 is one of seven operational TVA nuclear reactors across the Valley.

"Collectively, TVA’s nuclear fleet is the third largest in the nation, safely and reliably providing more than 40 percent of all electricity used by nearly 10 million people in the Tennessee Valley," officials said.


Gas Prices Drop 1 Cent In Chattanooga

New Hamilton County Business Licenses

SimplyBank Creates Directing Officer Corps With 5 Senior Officers


Chattanooga gas prices have fallen 1 cent per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.60 per gallon on Monday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 stations in Chattanooga. Gas prices in ... (click for more)

Here are the new business licenses from the County Clerk's office: 1 STOP SHOP ALDEN KING 2000 LAURA ST CHATTANOOGA TN 37406 ABIGAIL MORELAND & BRIAN CHENEY ABIGAIL MORELAND 1605 ... (click for more)

Growth at privately-held, Rhea County-based SimplyBank has organization leaders poised to make significant leaps into new markets and services this year. To help facilitate those expansions, ... (click for more)



Business

Gas Prices Drop 1 Cent In Chattanooga

Chattanooga gas prices have fallen 1 cent per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.60 per gallon on Monday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 stations in Chattanooga. Gas prices in Chattanooga are 0.8 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand $1.09 per gallon higher than a year ago. According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Chattanooga ... (click for more)

New Hamilton County Business Licenses

Here are the new business licenses from the County Clerk's office: 1 STOP SHOP ALDEN KING 2000 LAURA ST CHATTANOOGA TN 37406 ABIGAIL MORELAND & BRIAN CHENEY ABIGAIL MORELAND 1605 READ AVE CHATTANOOGA TN 37408 ALLWASTE ONSITE, LLC DARRELL ROGERS 3320 LIGHTFOOT MILL RD CHATTANOOGA TN 37406 ANDRO FAMILY PROPERTIES RICHARD L ANDRO 639 HAMILTON AVE CHATTANOOGA TN ... (click for more)

Breaking News

County School Officials Told No Migrant Students At Temple Dorm To Enroll In County Schools; Aim Is To Reunite Children With Families, Baptiste Group Says

County School officials said in a meeting on Tuesday, a leader of the Baptiste Group said there are no plans for migrant children at a former Tennessee Temple dorm to attend county schools. School officials said they were told that the program is a short-term placement for children and is focused on reunification of children and families. The Baptiste Group plans to ... (click for more)

Tim Kelly Is New Chattanooga Mayor; Jenny Hill, Isiah Hester Win City Council Races

Tim Kelly was far ahead in the Chattanooga mayor's runoff election after early vote totals and the first 20 precincts were released. He quickly declared himself the winner, and he finished ahead by over 5,000 votes. He won 15,966 to 10,661. Among early voters, it was Kelly 8,623 to 4,988 for Kim White, former president of the River City Company who was vying to be the city's ... (click for more)

Opinion

A Mayoral Race To Be Proud Of

It was very refreshing for both candidates to only speak to their strengths for the entire campaign while not dragging each other through the mud and acting like third graders as it too often the case with political campaigns. It was even more refreshing to see such a humble victory and a gracious defeat as both candidates appeared to be extremely supportive of one another ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Kelly Gallops To Mayor

Tim Kelly, betting heavily on himself by spending over $1 million of his own money and divesting of a widely respected auto dealership in order to be fully focused, was hailed as a winner Tuesday night. The personable Kelly was greeted with open arms as Chattanooga’s newest Mayor when he outlasted another quite capable candidate, Kim White. In what was expected to be a nose-to-nose ... (click for more)