Nuclear power plant approval to be sought this summer, TVA exec says

The Tennessee Valley Authority board will be asked in August to approve completion of the  Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant in Alabama, the Tennessean newspaper quoted Tom Kilgore, president and CEO, as saying. The site consists of two partially built 1,256 MW pressurized water reactors made by Babcock & Wilcox.

The plant has already cost around $4.4 billion and another $4 to $5 billion will likely be needed to finish it.

In December 2010, Bill McCollum, TVA's COO, wrote in Power Engineering, "With the recent run-up of commodity prices caused by global demand adding significant costs to new nuclear projects, our studies show that completing Bellefonte 1, at $4.3 to $4.7 billion, is the preferred alternative for meeting baseload power needs in the 2018 to 2020 time-frame. Last August, the TVA board of directors approved detailed engineering to identify the work necessary to complete the unit as well as continuation of the licensing process and contracts to procure long-lead-time components. While this preserves Bellefonte 1 as an economical option, the final decision to move ahead with construction is expected to come after the Integrated Resource Planning process is completed in the spring of 2011."

TVA stopped work at the plant in 1988. In 2006, TVA abandoned Bellefonte as a potential nuclear plant and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission withdrew the license.

In 2008, TVA reversed its decision with two of three NRC members voting to restore the construction license. NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko voted no, citing safety issues. The project's status was upgraded to deferred in Janaury 2010.

In 2005, Bellefonte was selected as the site for two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors, which would be known as units 3 and 4.

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