Fuel loading at Watts Bar 2

08 December 2015

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) workers began loading the first of 193 nuclear fuel assemblies into Watts Bar unit 2 on 5 December.

The majority of Watts Bar 2's 193 fuel assemblies were in place by 7 December
(Image: TVA)

Preparations for loading the reactor's first core began in November. Fuel assemblies were staged in the plant's used fuel pool prior to transfer to the reactor.

Construction of Watts Bar 2, a 1165 MWe (net) pressurized water reactor, began in 1972 but work was suspended in 1985 when the unit was about 55% complete. TVA decided to resume work on the unit in 2007, awarding an engineering, procurement and construction contract to Bechtel.

Major pre-operational tests were completed in September, verifying the performance of the reactor's automatic safety features, the structural integrity of the containment structure and leak rate testing. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a 40-year operating licence for the plant in October, clearing the way for fuel loading to begin. The unit is scheduled to begin operations in early 2016.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News