The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reports that work on Unit 2 at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant continues to meet targets for safety, quality, cost and schedule as the project prepares to transition from construction to completing and releasing systems for testing.
TVA issued its third quarterly update on Watts Bar 2 progress since the TVA board of directors last year approved continuing with the construction project in accordance with a revised Estimate to Complete by December 2015 with a projected total cost of $4 billion to $4.5 billion. The update report covers November 2012 through January 2013.
“The update shows that productivity is aligning with the schedule and the pace of installing commodities, such as miscellaneous steel, electrical conduit, large valves and tubing, is on track to support completion milestones,” said Mike Skaggs, TVA senior vice president for Nuclear Construction.
“The Watts Bar Unit 2 team continued to work safely and to do good work during the quarter,” he continued. “Workers achieved almost 18 million work-hours without a lost-time incident, and the overall acceptance rate of quality control inspections was at 96 percent or better. Cost and schedule performance achieved established goals.”
Most of the commodities remaining to be installed include cables, small valves, instruments, and associated pipes and tubing that make up the operating systems for the unit. As a result, the project is beginning the transition from bulk construction activities to completing systems and releasing them for testing. Skaggs said work on several systems is being accelerated to find and prevent potential problems early in the completion and testing processes so they won’t impede progress later.
“We have not identified any new short-term issues that compromise project completion, but we recognize there are challenges to completing this unit, with regulatory and licensing issues being our primary challenges,” said Skaggs.
“TVA has invested in nuclear power as a key component to generating safe, reliable, clean, and low-cost energy,” Skaggs said. “Completing Watts Bar Unit 2 safely, on time and within budget will validate this investment and increase confidence across the industry that building new nuclear is the right course of action in preparing for future energy needs.”
When complete, Watts Bar 2 is expected to generate about 1,100 megawatts, enough electricity to supply about 650,000 Tennessee Valley homes.