[ RadSafe ] TVA ready to calculate cost of 2nd reactor at Watts Bar
sandyfl at cox.net
Sun Apr 1 12:47:23 CDT 2007
This is the current status of Watts Bar 2:
TVA ready to calculate cost of 2nd reactor at Watts Bar
By Duncan Mansfield
Associated Press Writer
KNOXVILLE (AP) Jul 28, 2006 - The Tennessee Valley Authority is ready
to pursue a study on completing a second nuclear reactor at its Watts
Bar station - the last nuclear plant to come on line in the United
States, a top official said Thursday.
Directors of the nation's largest public utility will be asked Friday
to approve $20 million for a detailed engineering study to show how
much it will cost to complete Watts Bar Unit 2, TVA President and
acting CEO Tom Kilgore told The Associated Press in an interview.
"That doesn't mean that they are deciding to do Watts Bar 2," he
said. "It means that we are asking them to spend money so that we can
decide how much it would cost."
TVA will continue working with a group of utilities looking at
another nuclear option - using TVA's unfinished Bellefonte nuclear
reactor site in Alabama to build a modern nuclear reactor, which
would be more reliable and less costly than current reactors.
"It is not an either-or on Bellefonte," Kilgore said. "It is more of
timing with Bellefonte. In other words, we could finish Watts Bar 2
faster than we could finish Bellefonte."
TVA believes it will need new base generation capacity by 2014.
The unfinished 1,160-mega-watt reactor at Watts Bar in Spring City,
Tenn., about 50 miles south of Knoxville, could produce enough
electricity to serve more than 670,000 homes.
Construction on the Watts Bar station halted in 1985 with the rest of
TVA's nuclear program because of safety concerns. Construction later
resumed on Watts Bar 1, which came on line in 1996 - the last nuclear
reactor to start up in this country.
TVA currently operates three nuclear stations in Tennessee and
Alabama with five running reactors. A sixth reactor is slated to
return to service in 2007 at the Browns Ferry station near Athens
after a $1.8 billion modernization project.
There are 103 licensed reactors operating at 65 sites in the United
States. The Browns Ferry Unit 1 reactor would be the 104th, which TVA
expects to start around May 2007.
"There are a number of letters from a number of utilities saying they
are contemplating applying for early site permits and-or construction
permits for new reactors. None have come in yet," said Ken Clark,
spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Designed in the 1970s, the Watts Bar Unit 1 reactor took nearly 23
years and $7 billion to complete. The twin Unit 2 reactor was more
than half finished when construction stopped in 1985.
Finishing Unit 2 is expected to cost less than Watts Bar 1 - Kilgore
estimated $2 billion to $3 billion - because of common facilities,
but still would require replacing parts that have been cannibalized
for other TVA reactors.
"If we were to go back today and start finishing Watts Bar 2 we would
obviously need to replace all those parts, and we would need to also
update a lot of things. Controls and even processes. We would really
have to look at everything to see what needed to be not just replaced
but renewed," Kilgore said.
The TVA board of directors will consider the study request as part of
a nearly $9 billion budget request for fiscal 2007 that will include
a staff recommendation to cut electric rates by 3.5 percent to 5
TVA provides electricity to 158 distributors serving about 8.6
million consumers in Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, Alabama,
Mississippi, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia
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