The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 1 has begun a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage after producing more than 12.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity over the past 18 months.
“Our refueling outage allows us to set the unit up for the next cycle of reliable, low-cost and carbon-free nuclear power to benefit the families and industries of the Tennessee Valley,” said Kevin Walsh, site vice president. “The Watts Bar team will be completing a large volume of work while the unit is off-line so we can continue to safely and reliably produce electricity for those who count on us every day.”
An additional 1,000 TVA and contract employees are supplementing the site’s regular staff during the outage. More than 10,600 work activities are planned, including loading new fuel assemblies, performing inspections of reactor components, maintenance of plant equipment and installing unit enhancements.
“As we perform upgrades and maintenance on Unit 1, we will also continue to focus on supporting Unit 2’s readiness for licensing and fuel load, which will double our site’s generation capacity,” said Walsh.
Once Unit 2 is operational, the Watts Bar plant will produce enough power for 1.3 million homes. TVA also operates three units at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant near Decatur, Alabama, and two units at Sequoyah Nuclear Plant near Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. Collectively, TVA’s nuclear fleet reliably provides more than one-third of the electricity used across the Valley.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving more than 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.