TVA to sell nuclear, gas units to fund $4.9B completion of Bellefonte nuclear project

By Dorothy Davis

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has outlined plans to sell the Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear reactor, along with the combined cycle gas-fired John Sevier power plant, in an effort to finance the $4.9 billion completion of the long stalled Bellefonte nuclear project in Hollywood, Alabama

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Kim Greene, TVA group president of strategy and external relations, said the utility expects to raise $900 million to $1 billion for the gas plant and up to $2.5 billion on the sale of the new Watts Bar reactor, which would then be leased back to TVA.

TVA’a Bellefonte nuclear project began development in 1974 but was put on hold in 1988. In 2009 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved TVA's request to reinstate Bellefonte's original construction permits while the utility evaluated its two reactor sites.

The Bellefonte nuclear project is a key part of the TVA’s recently implemented Integrated Resource Plan, which also includes the purchase of a combined cycle gas plant in north Mississippi; and plans to add emissions controls at the Gallatin and Allen fossil plants. 

According to TVA construction to complete Bellefonte is expected to provide approximately 2,800 construction jobs in the north Alabama area. Upon completion the new nuclear station will create 650 permanent jobs and generate 1,260 megawatts of electricity. The station is currently about 55 percent complete and is expected to go into operation by 2020.

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