TVA’s New Nuclear Plant Nears Completion
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) connected its Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear reactor to the grid in June, making it the first nuclear power plant to come online since 1996. Throughout June and July the unit has undergone final testing, producing electricity at incremental levels, and the reactor is expected to be fully operational by the end of the summer.
Construction on Watts Bar Unit 2 originally began in 1973 but was halted in 1985, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In August 2007, the TVA board of directors authorized the completion of Watts Bar Unit 2, and construction started that October. Once fully operational, the $4.7 billion reactor will add nearly 1.2 gigawatts of electricity generating capacity to TVA’s nuclear fleet.