The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage on Saturday Nov. 14 at Unit 2 of the Sequoyah nuclear plant.
TVA said the reactor is going offline for the regularly-scheduled outage after generating more than 13.6 billion kilowatt hours of carbon-free electricity over the past 18 months.
An additional 700 TVA and contract employees are supplementing the site’s regular staff during the scheduled outage. Approximately 10,000 work activities are planned, including loading new fuel assemblies, performing inspections of reactor components, maintenance of plant equipment and installing unit enhancements.
Sequoyah Unit 2 is one of six operational TVA nuclear reactors across the Valley, supplying nearly one-third of all electricity used by more than 9 million people. A seventh reactor, Watts Bar Unit 2, recently completed construction and was issued an operating license to load fuel and begin a series of tests to ensure operational readiness.
Units 1 and 2 are 1980s vintage pressurized water reactor (PWRs). The units are located in Hamilton County, Tenn. Each has a nameplate capacity of roughly 1,200 MW. Unit 1 will continue to operate during the Unit 2 outage.
TVA recently received a 20-year license renewal from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for Sequoyah Units 1 and 2.
“Beyond loading new fuel, outages like this are vital to continuing nuclear power’s role as a key supplier of reliable, low-cost electricity to those we serve in the Tennessee Valley,” said John Carlin, site vice president. “Some key maintenance activities can only be safely completed when we are offline, so we will make the most of this opportunity to ensure Unit 2 operates safely and reliably for another 18 months.”