TVA: Watts Bar nuclear project on time, budget

Construction on Unit 2 at the Watts Bar nuclear power plant is on schedule and on budget, according to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

TVA said in a report that the 1,100 MW unit is on track to be completed in December 2015. The update covers work accomplished in the 15 months after TVA’s board of directors approved continuing with construction.

The new estimate to complete includes additional funding of $1.5 billion to $2 billion, bringing the total cost to complete to the range of $4 billion to $4.5 billion. About 3,300 workers are currently at the Watts Bar 2 site.

Three operating systems that are required for open vessel testing were released ahead of schedule for pre-operational engineering tests. Open vessel testing involves pumping water through several systems that are used when shutting down the reactor, as well as support for other nuclear operations. The testing is scheduled for early 2014.

Challenges to completing Watts Bar 2 include completing complex work and required documentation; performing tests on shared Unit 1 and Unit 2 systems without impacting the operations of Unit 1; addressing regulatory and licensing issues, and transitioning the site into dual-unit operation.

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