The Tennessee Valley Authority announced last week that they passed another milestone toward getting Watts Bar Unit 2 up and running, they said the NRC voted to direct the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation to issue an operating license for Watts Bar 2.
In a letter to the NRC Chairman, the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards noted that “there is reasonable assurance that WBN 2 can operate as the second unit of the dual unit Watts Bar Nuclear Plant without undue risk to the health and safety of the public.”
“The commission’s action was a critical regulatory step necessary to keep Watts Bar Unit 2 on track to become the nation’s first new nuclear generation of the 21st century,” says TVA’s Chief Nuclear Officer Joe Grimes. “The delegation of this authority signifies confidence that NRC inspections show Watts Bar Unit 2 is being built according to rigorous regulatory requirements.”
Construction at the site began in 1973 but was halted in 1988 when the unit was about 80 percent complete. Watts Bar Unit 2 is now 95% complete and is targeted for commercial operation by June 2016. When finished the unit will generate approximately 1,150 megawatts of safe, carbon-free power enough to meet the needs of 650,000 homes.