TVA to slash budget, staff at Bellefonte nuclear power plant

Source: Tennessee Valley Authority

Mike Skaggs, Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) senior vice president for Nuclear Construction, met with employees and contractors at the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant on Wednesday to inform them of impending budget reductions affecting operations and activities at the plant.

Based on work done so far to maintain the Bellefonte plant and define its future, Skaggs said, TVA has determined that it can reduce spending and staff in fiscal year 2014, which begins Oct. 1, 2013, while continuing to protect the facility for future potential development.

“Over the past few months, TVA has been looking across the company, including at our nuclear construction projects, to determine the work that is most important to perform. We have also been determining how we can do that work safer, better, faster and leaner,” Skaggs told employees and contractors.

“The most important job in Nuclear Construction is to safely deliver Watts Bar 2 in a quality manner, on time and within budget. Protecting the Bellefonte asset is also at the top of our ‘must and will do’ list.”

The Bellefonte operations and management budget will be reduced from approximately $182 million in FY2013 to $66 million in FY2014. This will mean the onsite TVA and contractor staff will be reduced from about 540 to approximately 140. The reductions will take place over the next several months.

There are currently 60 TVA employees and 480 onsite contractors with an additional 130 contractors in satellite offices. By Oct. 1, 2013, there will be 25 TVA employees and 115 onsite contractors associated with the Bellefonte effort.

Bellefonte activities that will continue in FY2014 include performing core maintenance, protecting plant records and documentation, developing and validating the plant’s estimate to complete, gathering information to support the integrated planning process, security, and using the Integrated Resource Planning process to determine how Bellefonte best supports TVA’s overall efforts to continue to meet customer demand with low-cost, reliable power.

“Reducing spending at Bellefonte next fiscal year will help TVA focus resources people, money, time and energy on nearer-term priorities. Some decisions are harder to make because they don’t affect just what we do every day they affect people,” Skaggs said.

“Hard decisions are necessary, though, especially during challenging times like we face today as TVA works to lower rates by improving performance and controlling costs in an environment where mild weather and a mild economy have negatively affected sales,” Skaggs said.

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