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Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation Facility, Watts Bar Nuclear Plant

Rhea County, Tennessee

The Tennessee Valley Authority proposes to construct and operate an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant (WBN) in Rhea County, Tennessee. An ISFSI is a facility designed and constructed for the dry storage of spent nuclear fuel and is licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under 10 Code of Federal Regulations Part 72. The proposed ISFSI at WBN would provide additional capacity for on-site storage of spent nuclear fuel to support the continued operation of the plant. TVA prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) that analyzed the potential environmental impacts of constructing and operating an ISFSI at WBN.  The Draft EA was issued for a 30-day public review that ended May 7, 2014.  Comments received were addressed by TVA in the Final EA.

The WBN ISFSI would be comprised of a vendor-supplied dry cask storage system and a concrete storage pad facility holding up to 80 dry storage casks with supporting infrastructure.  A second storage pad is planned for construction at the site within 20 years to hold up to 100 additional casks. Each pad would be approximately ½ acre in size.  The location of the proposed ISFSI at WBN is adjacent to the plant’s existing northern protected area perimeter.

Currently, spent nuclear fuel from operation of the WBN Unit 1 nuclear reactor is stored in specially-designed storage racks within a steel-lined, concrete spent fuel pool inside the WBN Auxiliary Building.  Because the WBN spent fuel pool is at almost 75% capacity, additional spent fuel storage capacity is needed within 5 years to support Unit 1 operations alone.  Additional capacity is also needed to accommodate spent fuel from the future operation of WBN Unit 2. Project construction activities begin in the summer of 2014 and will last about 18 months.

On June 16, 2014, TVA completed the final EA and issued a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the proposed ISFSI at Watts Bar.  The final EA and FONSI are available through the links below. Printed and CD copies may also be requested at the addresses below.

Related Documents

WBN ISFSI Finding of No Significant Impact (PDF, 1.3mb)

WBN ISFSI Final Environmental Assessment (PDF, 1mb)


More information on this environmental review can be obtained from:

Matthew Higdon
NEPA Specialist
[email protected]
400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT 11B
Knoxville, TN 37902