Two years to go for Watts Bar 2

31 October 2013

Work to complete Watts Bar 2 remains on course and on budget with commercial operation likely to start in December 2015, according to the latest update on the project issued by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

The fifth quarterly update on the project to complete the 1165 MWe pressurised water reactor covers the period from May to July 2013. In addition to schedule and cost, it found that safety and quality control targets were also being met, and that no new risks that might compromise the project's completion had been identified. The unit is expected to enter service between September 2015 and June 2016 - although December 2015 has been identified as the "most likely" commercial operation date. Fuel loading is expected to take place in June 2015.

Bulk construction is in the final phase, according to TVA senior vice president for Watts Bar operations and construction Mike Skaggs who said that the plant is "approximately 80%" complete. Work is now focused on completing and readying plant systems for pre-operational testing, Skaggs said.

Three operating systems were turned over for pre-operational open-vessel testing during the quarter. TVA is focusing on completion of all of the systems required the for the tests, which involves pumping water through systems used in reactor operations including reactor shut-down, by early December. Open-vessel testing is scheduled to begin in early 2014.

Work on Watts Bar 2 was suspended in 1985 when the unit was about 55% completed, 12 years after construction began. TVA decided in 2007 to resume the project, initially estimating a cost of $2.5 billion and a completion date of 2012. TVA revised both the cost and the completion date in April 2012, with the cost now estimated at $4-4.5 billion.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News