Watts Bar Unit 2 is Substantially Complete, TVA Requests Issuance of License

Aug 14, 2015

SPRING CITY, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority has sent documentation to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission informing them that construction of the Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear reactor is substantially complete. The letter provides a list of remaining key activities which will be finished prior to operations and requests that an operating license be issued for the unit.

The “substantially complete” letter is a major construction and licensing milestone for the project.

For the NRC to issue an operating license, TVA must show that construction is substantially complete, that the facility will operate according to the license and that there is assurance the unit will have no adverse effect on public health and safety.

The letter provides supporting information including:

  • The basis for TVA’s conclusion that construction is substantially complete and conforms with the construction permit
  • The programs and processes implemented to assure completion in accordance with the plant’s design and licensing basis
  • Details on the equipment refurbishment and qualification programs to ensure that safety- and quality-related structures, systems and components meet design certifications
  • The Quality Assurance Program, quality control reviews, assessments and inspections that ensure construction activities have and continue to meet regulatory requirements.

The notification to the NRC follows recent completion of comprehensive testing on major Unit 2 systems to demonstrate operational readiness. Called hot functional testing, the tests showed that nearly 60 important systems can function together at operational temperature and pressure as designed and built. Important safety-related systems were also tested to show they can help keep the reactor safely cooled. Completion of hot functional testing meets a critical pre-operational requirement for NRC to issue a license.

“Completion of hot functional testing and submittal of the substantially complete notification are among the historic milestones that continue to be achieved at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant as Unit 2 is completed and tested the right way – safely, with quality and in a manner to ensure regulatory compliance and excellence in operations after licensing,” said Mike Skaggs, senior vice president of Watts Bar Operations and Construction. “The successes are the result of hard work by everybody on the Watts Bar team and demonstrate our commitment to safely preparing Unit 2 for fuel load.”

When online, Watts Bar Unit 2 will produce 1,150 megawatts of carbon-free electricity - enough to meet the needs of 650,000 homes.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving more than 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.


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