Rhea County, Tennessee
On December 5, 2017, TVA issued a Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for replacement of steam generators in Watts Bar Nuclear Plant (WBN) Unit 2. The EA evaluates the potential environmental effects of the steam generator replacement (SGR) project.
TVA evaluated two alternatives: (A) No Action Alternative, and (B) replacement of the steam generators. TVA’s preferred alternative is Alternative B, replacement of the steam generators. The subject steam generators use pressurized hot water from the reactor to generate steam for propelling the turbines used to produce electric power. Over time, tubes within the steam generators can degrade, leading to decreased power generation efficiency. Replacement of the Unit 2 steam generators would allow TVA to operate WBN more efficiently and maintain generating capacity of Unit 2. Preparation for replacement would begin in early 2018. TVA would receive the replacement steam generators at WBN in fall 2018 and would replace the four Unit 2 steam generators during a scheduled outage between 2018 and 2024. The date of the replacement would be determined based on the findings of inspections conducted in accordance with Nuclear Regulatory Commission requirements during each refueling outage (which occur every 18 months). The steam generator replacement would occur during the following outage where an inspection indicates the tubes are becoming 15 percent clogged.
TVA concluded that implementing Alternative B would not be a major federal action significantly affecting the environment. Therefore, TVA has issued the FONSI.
More information on this environmental review can be obtained from: