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.
1 thought on “Another Milestone for Watts Bar Unit 2”
Early in senator Obama’s cooinessgnral career, he had a run-in with the NRC involving disclosure of tritium radiation leaks in his home state of Illinois. The Exelon corp. and the NRC resisted the legislation to the intense aggravation of Obama. The bill never managed to pass after repeated attempts. This experience put the NRC on Obama’s hit list. I remember hearing him adamantly specifying a complete reorganization of the NRC during a news organizations editorial review board that I heard during the campaign. It is plain that Obama is not happy with the Light Water Reactor technology that the NRC favors and will require his new reworked NRC to explore other nuclear alternatives. The lack of nuclear professional expertise outside of the light water reactor field in the US will be a big handy cap to the Obama reorganization effort. But Obama was sufficiently aggravated and stubborn to push through all the problems and obstructions in the US nuclear industry to get to where he wants to go; a non LWR technology base staffed with new recruits out-sourced from academia and many of these new recruits might require green cards and need english language training after work. Axil