Is the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) having second thoughts about the sale of the unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant in Jackson County, Alabama?
The Bellefonte site, home of two unfinished reactors started by TVA in the 1970s, was auctioned off five months ago with the winning bid of $111 million submitted by Nuclear Development LLC (ND). The TVA, however, announced in late March that it was seeking public comment on the environmental impact of the sale. The reason TVA is seeking input, media reports say, is to assess whether or not to continue with transfer of the property to ND.
Nuclear Development not only submitted the winning bid, but they also announced they would spend $13 billion to complete the two reactors in site, where construction was finally halted with the first Babcock & Wilcox 1,256 megawatt pressurized water reactor at 88 percent complete and the second at 58 percent complete. Since then, all of the major components installed on site have been removed and sold.
In total, TVA has spent $4 billion on the project that includes two cooling towers, offices, helicopter pads and other fundamental infrastructure on a site of 1,600 acres.
TVA has announced that comments on a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) covering the sale would be accepted through May 1, 2017. Mailed comments should be sent to Amy Henry, NEPA Program and Valley Projects, Tennessee Valley Authority, 400 West Summit Hill Drive, Knoxville, TN., 37902. Comments that include name, address and phone number will become part of the official EIS.
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TVA needs to give it up to an outfit that's not trigger shy. TVA is wrapped up in to much red tape all the time. Congress gave them the money for Bellefonte once and they sent it to Watts Barr. They should give it up or move on it. one or the other; lead, follow or get out of the way!!!! A lot of Americans are ready to build that plant let it happen.
The Environmental Assessment (EA) that TVA is seeking comments on can be found at this link:
Why were all the major components installed on site removed and sold?
Where is the draft EIS located online?
TVA decision-making....Interesting that the "environmental impact" that TVA has had for 20 years is now being dredged up.
I am not sure of ND credentials but on line I find this ....
Nuclear Development LLC provides management consulting services. The Company offers office administration, security services, cleaning, waste disposal, education, and training services.
I am sure they can build it but am less convinced on running the units once complete. Operators are in high demand and not easily found so this could be a difficult task. It's not like buying a new car and just jumping in to run and being in the nuclear industry and worked at many of the existing plants and have noted plants that are less able to proactively maintain the system reliability to keep these plants running at peak availability. The aging infrastructure is a challenge but through updates, experienced work force and a strong safety focus, can be run appropriately and without issue. It would only take one mistake to give the entire industry a black-eye so here I think experience and being conservative is the key.
I believe that this will be one of the biggest mistakes that TVA as a government agency can make. This site should remain a part of TVA and be completed, to serve the people of the valley. It can be done with the right management and direction...
This nuclear plant... if the turbine generators and auxilisries are in "good shape".... The Bellafonte Station can be easily converted to a 3500 MWe Combined Cycle Station (check out Midland Station in Michigan... that converted a similar "unfinished" nuclear plant over 30 years back..... nothing new here... just vision)....easily done at probably less than $1.5 Billion and at an efficiency of 58-60%... as compared to <40% for the "original Bellafonte Station.
Not sure why GE did not "gobble it up"... or maybe they still would.... after all they understand nuclear, steam and gas turbines better than you and me know the back of our hands...