First new U.S. chief reactor in roughly dual decades set to start operating

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The Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Watts Bar Unit 2 was connected to a energy grid on Jun 3, apropos a initial chief energy plant to come online given 1996, when Watts Bar Unit 1 started operations. Watts Bar Unit 2 is undergoing final testing, producing electricity during incremental levels of power, as TVA prepares to start blurb operation after this summer. The new reactor is designed to supplement 1,150 megawatts (MW) of electricity generating ability to southeastern Tennessee.

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Watts Bar Unit 2 is a initial chief plant in a United States to accommodate new regulations from a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that were determined after a 2011 trembler and tsunami that shop-worn a Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant in Japan. After a NRC released an handling permit for a section in Oct 2015, 193 new fuel assemblies were installed into a reactor vessel a following month. TVA announced during a finish of May that a reactor achieved a initial postulated chief physics reaction.

Construction on Watts Bar Unit 2 creatively began in 1973, though construction was halted in 1985 after a NRC identified weaknesses in TVA’s chief program. In Aug 2007, a TVA house of directors certified a execution of Watts Bar Unit 2, and construction started in Oct 2007. At that time, a investigate found Unit 2 to be effectively 60% finish with $1.7 billion invested. The investigate pronounced a plant could be finished in 5 years during an additional cost of $2.5 billion. However, both a timeline and cost guess grown in 2007 valid to be overly optimistic, as construction was not finished until 2015, and costs eventually totaled $4.7 billion.

Image credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Image credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Although Watts Bar 2 is a initial new U.S. chief generator to come online in 20 years, 4 other reactors are now underneath construction and are approaching to join a chief swift within a subsequent 4 years. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant Units 3 and 4 in Georgia and Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station Units 2 and 3 in South Carolina are scheduled to turn operational in 2019–20, adding 4,540 MW of era capacity.

Source: EIA