TVA cuts workforce at nuclear power plant

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) said it is reducing the number of contractors supporting its 1,260 MW Bellefonte nuclear plant project. TVA said this decision was made to better match resources with current business needs.

About 900 contractors support the Bellefonte project with almost half of the contractors working at the site and the remainder in satellite offices at other locations. Of the 430 affected contractor positions, only about 85 individuals work at the Bellefonte site.

“Bellefonte is integral to building a balanced energy portfolio and TVA being a leader in safe, clean and reliable nuclear energy production,” says David Stinson, vice president, Bellefonte project. “However, with construction at Bellefonte not beginning until fuel is loaded at Watts Bar 2, we are resetting priorities at the site.”

Stinson said TVA began releasing contract workers supporting Bellefonte this week and will continue through mid-May. In total, about twenty percent of the affected contractors are working locally at the site.

Stinson also said that other priorities for the project include defining a timeframe to verify remaining construction work and the rate at which it can be performed.  Additional areas of focus include incorporating lessons learned from Fukushima and Watts Bar Unit 2 construction, establishing processes to identify and mitigate risks and putting in place infrastructure for effective planning and project controls.

On Aug. 18, 2011, the TVA board of directors approved the completion of Bellefonte Nuclear Plant Unit 1 in Alabama. When it begins commercial operation between 2018 and 2020, the reactor will be the largest in TVA's nuclear fleet.

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