The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Watts Bar 2 nuclear unit Spring City, Tennessee was listed at 8% power generation early May 25, according to public data from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
TVA announced earlier in the week that nuclear unit had achieved “initial criticality” and operating on its own power. This is considered a big step toward full-fledged commercial operation of the recently-completed 1,150-MW pressurized water reactor (PWR) unit.
TVA expects to have regular commercial operation of the nuclear facility this summer. TVA is commissioning the project at a total estimated project cost of $4.7bn.
When the TVA board approved completion of the long-suspended Watts Bar 2 project in 2007, it predicted a 60-month construction schedule and a cost of $2.49bn.
Despite rough going in the early stages, TVA overhauled Watts Bar 2 project management and the TVA board re-committed the federal utility to completing the reactor in the spring of 2012. The TVA board did acknowledge in 2012 that the revised price tag would be in excess of $4bn.