The Tennessee Valley Authority has sent documentation to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission informing them that construction of the Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear reactor is substantially complete. The letter provides a list of remaining key activities which will be finished prior to operations and requests that an operating license be issued for the unit.
For the NRC to issue an operating license, TVA must show that construction is substantially complete, that the facility will operate according to the license, and that there is assurance the unit will have no adverse effect on public health and safety.
The notification to the NRC follows recent completion of comprehensive testing on major Unit 2 systems to demonstrate operational readiness. Called hot functional testing, the tests showed that nearly 60 important systems can function together at operational temperature and pressure as designed and built. Important safety-related systems were also tested to show they can help keep the reactor safely cooled. Completion of hot functional testing meets a critical pre-operational requirement for NRC to issue a license.
“Completion of hot functional testing and submittal of the substantially complete notification are among the historic milestones that continue to be achieved at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant as Unit 2 is completed and tested the right way – safely, with quality and in a manner to ensure regulatory compliance and excellence in operations after licensing,” said Mike Skaggs, senior vice president of Watts Bar Operations and Construction.
Once online, Watts Bar Unit 2 will produce 1,150 megawatts of carbon-free electricity, enough to meet the needs of 650,000 homes.