Westinghouse awarded contract to help complete US reactor

21 January 2008

Westinghouse has been awarded a contract worth some $200 million by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for equipment upgrades and support services for the completion of unit 2 of the Watts Bar nuclear power plant in Tennessee.


TVA first started construction of Watts Bar units 1 and 2 - both 1270 MWe pressurized water reactors - in the mid-1970s. The company suspended construction of both units in 1985, citing a projected decrease in electricity demand. However, construction resumed again on unit 1 in 1990 and the unit has now been operating for over ten years. Watts Bar 2 was some 80% complete when construction work was suspended. In August 2007, TVA's board of directors approved a five-year, $2.5 billion project to finish the incomplete unit.


Westinghouse said that its scope includes: upgrade and replacement of most instrumentation and control systems, supply of new reactor coolant pumps, steam generator services, crane replacement and upgrades, probabilistic risk assessment (PRA), nuclear steam supply system (NSSS) plant design engineering services, drive rods, licensing services and safety analysis.


The project to complete Watts Bar 2 is expected to last 54 months, with the reactor scheduled to enter commercial operation in early 2012. It would be the 105th nuclear power reactor in the USA.


Westinghouse said that work will begin immediately on long lead and critical path items such as reactor coolant pumps, instrumentation and control (I&C) safety systems, PRA and modifications to existing cranes to support site activities. The company was the original supplier of the two Watts Bar reactors.


In October 2007, TVA selected Bechtel to lead engineering, procurement and construction work to complete the second unit at the Watts Bar nuclear power plant. 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.