SPRING CITY—The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant’s Unit 2 reactor is more than 90 percent complete and moving through key testing to become the nation’s first new nuclear generation of the 21st century.
In the eighth quarterly report since TVA revised its estimate to complete the project, TVA said Monday that Watts Bar Unit 2 continues to meet safety and quality targets and remains on schedule and within budget to become the first U.S. reactor to generate “new” power in nearly two decades, and the first since Watts Bar Unit 1 in 1996.
Watts Bar Unit 2 is projected to begin commercial operation between September 2015 and June 2016, with a most likely date by December 2015. The project has a projected completion cost between $4 billion and $4.5 billion, with a most likely target of $4.2 billion.
Testing of individual and combined plant systems is under way, TVA said in the latest quarterly update, covering February to April 2014. The first major system test, called open vessel testing, began ahead of schedule during the period and was completed earlier this summer. OVT involves pumping water into the reactor vessel through systems used when shutting down the reactor and in support of nuclear operations. [Read more…]