TVA Approves Construction to Complete Watts Bar 2

The Tennessee Valley Authority board has approved the construction of the second unit at Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant in accordance with the revised cost estimate.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the project would require an additional $1.5-$2 billion to complete, bringing the total cost to complete the unit to nearly $4.5 billion.

TVA's decision shows that they believe the project is worth the extra price.

"TVA expects Watts Bar Unit 2 to be among the best operating and most economical nuclear generating facilities of the 21st century," TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore told the board at its meeting in Greeneville, Tenn. "The safe and quality completion of Watts Bar Unit 2 will help us deliver a balanced mix of energy sources and increase our supply of emission-free electricity."

To help pay for the project, TVA is enhancing the Valley Investment Initiative, an incentive program that rewards industries that commit to locate, stay and invest in the Valley region, according to Chief Financial Officer John Thomas.

"Beginning in 2009, companies participating in the Valley Investment Initiative have announced five-year plans to invest a total of $8.2 billion in their operations, keep 55,000 jobs in the region and create another 17,000 jobs. Those jobs represent almost $16 billion in wages for Valley residents and communities," Thomas said.

Estimated completion of the reactor is between September and December 2015.

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