Nuclear power, natural gas-fired units up for sale

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA, NYSE: TVC) said it is looking to sell the 1,180 MW Watts Bar Unit 2, along with the new John Sevier combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant, to help finance the $4.9 billion completion of the Bellefonte nuclear power plant in Alabama.

News reports said TVA expects to raise between $900 million to $1 billion for the Sevier plant, and up to $2.5 billion on the sale of the reactor, which would then be leased back to TVA.

The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has delayed a license for the plant because of an unspecified aquatic issue and integrating safety modifications from the Fukushima crisis. Unit 2 is about 86 percent complete and is a Wstinghouse pressurized water reactor.

The company implemented an Integrated Resource Plan August 18 to meet rising electricity demand in the area, saying it would finish the 1,260 MW nuclear plant, which is currently about 55 percent complete, as well as purchase the Magnolia Combined-Cycle Gas Plant and install emissions control systems at the Gallatin and Allen coal-fired power plants.

The Watts Bar reactor is expected to be finished by 2013, while the Bellefonte plant is expected to go into service by 2020.

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