TVA gets license extension for Sequoyah nuclear plant

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has received a 20-year license renewal from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for Units 1 and 2 of the Sequoyah nuclear power plant in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.

NRC and TVA announced the license renewal on Sept. 28. “This milestone is a direct reflection of our ongoing commitment to safely operate Sequoyah to benefit the people we serve every day,” said TVA’s Chief Nuclear Officer Joe Grimes.

The Sequoyah plant, located about 16 miles northeast of Chattanooga, has two pressurized water reactors (PWRs). The renewed licenses authorize Unit 1 to operate through Sept. 17, 2040, and Unit 2 through Sept. 15, 2041. TVA applied to renew the licenses on Jan. 7, 2013.

Renewal of the Sequoyah operating licenses brings to 78 the number of commercial nuclear power reactors with renewed licenses. Applications for an additional 16 renewals are currently under review.

The NRC staff’s review of the application proceeded on two tracks. A safety evaluation report was issued Jan. 29, 2015, and supplemented earlier this month. A supplemental environmental impact statement was issued March 20, 2015.

Sequoyah Unit 1 was originally issued an operating license in 1980 followed by Unit 2 one year later. Since starting power generation, the units have collectively generated more than 500 billion kilowatt/hours of electricity.

Nuclear power routinely provides more than 30% of TVA’s total power generation.  The completion of Watts Bar Unit 2 early next year will increase nuclear generation to nearly 40%, TVA said.

Sequoyah Units 1 and 2 have a combined generating capacity of more than 2,200 MW.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.