TVA nuclear review sets new leadership teams at Watts Bar 2, Bellefonte

Source: Tennessee Valley Authority

As part of its review of nuclear construction, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced a new management alignment for Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2 and Bellefonte Unit 1. Dave Stinson, vice president of construction at Watts Bar Unit 2, is moving to Bellefonte to lead the engineering, design and infrastructure planning under way at that site. Ray Hruby, currently at Bellefonte, is assuming a leadership role at Watts Bar Unit 2, managing overall project work, licensing, and safety. 

In addition to Hruby, O.J. “Ike” Zeringue, former president and chief operating officer and chief nuclear officer at TVA, will join the Watts Bar Unit 2 team as a key project manager for engineering and construction activities. 

“We are putting in place a highly skilled, experienced team in nuclear construction and project management as we develop our completion plan for Unit 2 at Watts Bar,” said Mike Skaggs, senior vice president of nuclear construction. “These steps also ensure we have a strong leadership team in place to keep an appropriate focus on the planning phase at Bellefonte and that we share knowledge and effectively incorporate lessons learned from Watts Bar Unit 2.” 

TVA launched a complete review of the construction project at Watts Bar Unit 2 in August. The agency has reported that the project completion time and construction cost will exceed the 2007 estimates. As part of the detailed review, Skaggs put in place a comprehensive process to assess the current construction status, including identifying work that must be done to complete the unit and the rate at which the work can be performed. Within the next quarter, Skaggs expects to provide TVA management with recommended action steps to finish the project. 

“We are making good progress in understanding the status of construction at Watts Bar Unit 2 and the steps required to complete the facility,” Skaggs said. “One of the steps in the review is realigning our organization’s leadership. The team we are putting in place possesses years of experience and knowledge of TVA and nuclear construction. It will allow us to leverage individual strengths in order to meet current and future business needs.” 

The TVA careers of Skaggs and Zeringue have been connected in past years. Zeringue was TVA’s senior vice president for nuclear operations in 1993 and directed the completion, licensing and first year of operation at Watts Bar Unit 1. Skaggs worked for Zeringue at Watts Bar, as well as when Zeringue oversaw the day-to-day operations of TVA’s nuclear power program and served as chief nuclear officer. 

“I’ve spent over 30 years in the nuclear industry and most of that with TVA,” Zeringue said. “Being able to share experiences and what I’ve learned over time should assist Mike and his team in completing construction at Watts Bar Unit 2 and preparing for work at Bellefonte.” 

Hruby, who will help lead the Watts Bar 2 team, spearheaded the review process at Bellefonte Unit 1 that led to the TVA board approval last August to move forward with completion of that Bellefonte unit. 

He came to TVA from American Electric Power where he was vice president for support services at D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant. Hruby previously worked for 26 years in nuclear plants owned by FirstEnergy Corp. and Duquesne Light Co. 

Stinson came to TVA in 1992 as the completion manager for Bellefonte. He then served as the recovery manager at Browns Ferry. In 1996, Stinson left TVA, working at engineering companies in support of nuclear power plants until 2011 when he was named vice president at Watts Bar Unit 2. His background with TVA projects and his extensive experience in engineering with construction-focused organizations will be an asset as he returns to lead the design phase at Bellefonte.

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