TVA Continues To Pursue NRC License for New Nuclear Units at Bellefonte
April 30, 2009
HOLLYWOOD, Ala. — TVA will continue to pursue Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval to build and operate two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant site near Hollywood, Ala., although the NuStart consortium will shift initial licensing efforts for the new reactor design to another plant.
NuStart is transferring the “reference” designation to build the first of a new generation of reactors to Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle application. The change is designed to align industry and regulatory resources with a license application that has specific, near-term construction plans.
At the time Bellefonte was selected by NuStart for a combined operating and construction license, there were no new nuclear plants in the United States ready to begin construction. TVA, a member of NuStart, is seeking a combined construction and operating license to maintain TVA’s options for use of the Bellefonte site in the future.
“With the reference designation transitioning to the Plant Vogtle project, the NRC can complete the licensing process sooner and pave the way for subsequent combined construction and operating license applications,” said TVA Vice President of Nuclear Generation Development and Construction Ashok Bhatnagar. “Though TVA has not made a decision to build a new large-scale, base-load generation nuclear plant at this time, completing the transfer of the reference designation will not affect our pursuit of a license for Bellefonte Units 3 and 4.”
When TVA submitted the application for a new nuclear plant at the Bellefonte site in October 2007, it was designated as the “reference” application for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor design. The reference application contains standard licensing, engineering, technical, quality and safety information that future applicants can use to develop their own site-specific applications much more efficiently.
“Our staff continues to support the review of the Bellefonte application and has responded to more than 600 requests for additional information from the NRC within the timeframes requested,” said TVA Vice President of Nuclear Generation Development Jack Bailey. “We’ve made tremendous progress in the year and a half since submitting the application for Bellefonte, and designating Southern Company’s application will help move the industry closer to new plant construction and commercial operation.”
TVA is the nation’s largest public power provider and is completely self-financing. TVA provides power to large industries and 158 power distributors that serve approximately 9 million consumers in seven southeastern states. TVA also manages the Tennessee River and its tributaries to provide multiple benefits, including flood damage reduction, navigation, water quality and recreation.
Terry Johnson, Chattanooga, (423) 843-7839
TVA News Bureau, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000