ATHENS, Ala. — After reliably generating more than 18 billion kilowatt hours of carbon-free electricity during the past two years, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry Unit 2 was safely taken offline early March 2 to start a scheduled refueling outage that includes installation of a final round of modifications that supports generating more power than ever before.
Once this work is completed and thoroughly tested, Unit 2 will become the third and final unit able to generate more electricity under an Extended Power Uprate approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The uprate will enable Browns Ferry to generate a total of 465 megawatts of additional electricity — 3,933 megawatts total. That’s enough to power an added 280,000 homes, helping TVA fulfill its mission of service and economic development.
“Being able to generate more power than ever before at Browns Ferry is the result of a lot of good, hard work by TVA employees and our vendor partners to uphold our top priority — protecting the health and safety of the public — while increasing our ability to meet the current and future energy needs of the Tennessee Valley,” said Lang Hughes, Browns Ferry site vice president.
TVA expects to spend approximately $475 million implementing EPU at Browns Ferry, demonstrating how TVA invests to meet current and future energy needs in the Tennessee Valley. Unit 3 started generating electricity at the higher EPU power rating in mid-July 2018 while Unit 1 started generating at full EPU power in late January of this year, showing TVA’s ability to deliver energy now and well into the future.
“We learned a great deal upgrading Units 1 and 3 to generate more power and will apply those lessons as we install modifications on Unit 2 during this outage and conduct extensive testing to ensure safety and verify plant response,” Hughes said.
In addition to modifications that support the power uprate, the Unit 2 outage will also feature more than 11,000 work activities, including the installation of 320 new fuel assemblies along with upgrades, modifications, repairs and testing of other plant equipment, including inspections of reactor components and maintenance of key safety systems. To complete this outage, TVA has augmented the Browns Ferry workforce with an estimated 2,100 additional contract employees.
Before being taken offline for the outage, Unit 2 generated electricity for 695 days, including a consecutive run of 401 days, which demonstrates TVA’s commitment to equipment reliability and safe operation of its nuclear units.
Browns Ferry Unit 2 is one of seven operational TVA nuclear reactors, supplying nearly 40 percent of all electricity used by nearly 10 million people in the Tennessee Valley.
For more information about TVA and its 85-year mission of service to the Tennessee Valley, click here.
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