Bechtel contracted to complete Watts Bar 2

16 October 2007

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has selected Bechtel to lead engineering, procurement and construction work to complete the second unit at the Watts Bar nuclear power plant.

Bechtel's contract, valued in reports at $1 billion, is included in the scope of the five-year $2.49 billion project to finish the incomplete pressurized water reactor (PWR), as approved by TVA in August 2007. When completed in 2012, 40 years after construction first began, the pressurized water reactor (PWR) will add about 1200 MWe to TVA's capacity. "We are honoured to be selected by TVA for this historic assignment," said Jim Rheinsch, president of Bechtel's nuclear power business.

Work on Watts Bar 2 was suspended in1985 when the plant was about 60% complete, but construction can resumeunder an existing permit that is valid until 2010.

According to TVA president and CEO Tom Kilgore, Bechtel will be responsible for completing the engineering design, procuring equipment and materials and finishing the physical construction of Watts Bar 2, with oversight from TVA. "TVA's oversight of Bechtel will include incorporating the lessons learned from the restart of Unit 1 at our Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Alabama," he added.

Bechtel was involved in the May 2007 restart of TVA's Browns Ferry unit 1, providing engineering, start-up and other technical services in the $1.8 billion project to restart the mothballed reactor. It also worked on the restart of Browns Ferry units 2 and 3 in the 1990s and has carried out steam generator replacements at TVA's Sequoyah plant as well as Watts Bar 1.

The other bidder for the Watts Bar 2 project was Shaw Stone and Webster. TVA said it chose Bechtel because of its "technical capability, overall value and pricing, quality of proposed project team and other key attributes."

Bechtel's proposal also includes Washington Group International and Sargent & Lundy as contractors, according to Watts Bar 2 Vice President Masoud Bajestani. Cited in press reports, Bajestani added that TVA was working to finalize additional contracts with Siemens for the replacement of major components of the turbine system and with Westinghouse, the original supplier of the two Watts Bar PWRs.

TVA's Bellefonte site has been earmarked for the construction of two new Westinghouse AP1000 reactors by the NuStart consortium, of which TVA is a member, but completing Watts Bar 2 will be the fastest and cheapest way for TVA to bring new capacity on line.

Further information

TennesseeValley Authority (TVA)

WNA's US Nuclear Power Industryinformation paper

WNN: USreactor gets go-ahead for completion