The Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar Unit 2 near Spring City, Tenn., has not yet begun its commercial operating life, but it does have a contract for refueling outage services, Westinghouse Electric Company announced late last week.
The company that designed both the Watts Bar Unit 1 and 2 reactors said it had been selected by the TVA to provide refueling outage and inspection services for the pressurized water reactors at Watts Bar Units 1 and 2 and Sequoyah Units 1 and 2.
The contract is valued at approximately $75 million. It covers the period from 2016 through 2021, Westinghouse said.
Watts Bar Unit 2 is expected to begin its commercial life in June of this year. It will be the first nuclear power plant to be completed and switched on in the United States since Watts Bar 1, which began its operating life in 1996.
Both units were subjected to long construction hiatus periods due to market uncertainties. Earlier this month, the TVA said that the Watts Bar Unit 2 would cost $200 million more than had been anticipated in prior estimates. This brought the total expense for the first reactor in the country completed in accordance to post-Fukushima Daiichi accident standards to $4.7 billion. Watts Bar Unit 2 is also the first one with a new level of cyber-security required by new regulations.
In total, it has taken 43 years to complete Unit 2 at Watts Bar. Since 1973, when work was begun on the facility, the TVA has spent more than $12 billion to complete the two reactors, according to newspaper reports.
That is reported to be three times the cost of the two reactors at Sequoyah, seven miles from Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., or the three-reactor Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant near Athens, Ala.
Watts Bar Unit 1 is a net generation capacity of 1,165 MWe, while Unit 2 has an estimated net capacity of 1,150 MWe. Unit 2 was granted an operating license in October 2015. The final stage of construction was managed by construction company Bechtel.
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