TVA voted to finish contruction of a second reactor at Watts Bar that stopped building in 1985. This is great news, and successful finish of this construction will herald the way for new Nuclear energy plants in the US.
The Tennessee Valley Authority’s board of directors voted unanimously Wednesday to begin a five-year plan to finish a second nuclear reactor at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant on the Tennessee River.
The plant, about 50 miles south of Knoxville at Spring City, was the last new nuclear plant to come on line in the United States when it fired up one of its two planned reactors in 1996.
The second reactor was mothballed in mid-construction in 1985 when TVA shut down its entire nuclear program over safety concerns.
The plan to finish it is expected to cost about $2.5 billion, likely funded by the public utility’s revenues and adding debt. It was approved after a $20 million internal study on the feasibility of finishing the reactor determined it was already about 60 percent complete.
The reactor will have a capacity of 1,180 megawatts, capable of lighting 650,000 homes, identical to Unit 1. The project would add 250 workers to the Watts Bar station and require about 2,300 construction workers.