TVA: Watts Bar 2 still on schedule for end of 2015 operations

The Tennessee Valley Authority said July 18 that the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant’s Unit 2 reactor remains on target for a most likely commercial operation start in December 2015.

“The Watts Bar 2 team is meeting targets for safety, quality, cost and schedule,” said Mike Skaggs, TVA senior vice president for Nuclear Construction. “The team is working the plan that has been laid out, using comprehensive metrics to monitor progress and making effective adjustments when potential issues arise.”

TVA on July 18 issued its fourth quarterly update on Watts Bar 2 since the federal utility’s board of directors last year approved the continued construction of the project under a revised Estimate to Complete analysis that included ranges of completion dates from September 2015 to June 2016, and of total project costs of $4bn to $4.5bn.

The latest report, covering the February-April 2013 period, provided several highlights and milestones for this 1,100-MW facility.

  • Workers achieved more than 19.7 million hours without a lost-time accident, and a recordable injury rate that is better than goal.
  • The quality acceptance rate for completed work remains high, improving to above 97%.
  • A service air system became the first plant system in more than a year to be completed and turned over for testing.
  • The project continued on a track within its overall budget.
  • Scheduling performance met expectations for the quarter, and the schedule is on track to meet project completion milestones.
  • No new issues were identified that currently compromise completion.

“The targets are being met the right way – through the craftsmanship demonstrated by the men and women building the plant and by the way they go about their work every day,” Skaggs said.

Efforts were made to further improve the work environment, based on an assessment in the previous quarter. Actions focused on more effectively communicating information about the project and its progress; removing barriers so work can be done safer, better and faster; and improving teamwork for the eventual dual operation of Unit 1, which has been operating since 1996, and the new Unit 2.

Skaggs said key focus areas in the next quarter will be simplifying work orders involving multiple systems and components; completing construction of several plant systems; detailed scheduling for electrical work and planning for open vessel testing.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.