TVA Watts Bar 2 goes offline days after starting commercial operation

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) listed the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Watts Bar 2 nuclear plant at zero power early Oct. 24 only days after the federal utility had official announced “commercial” operation of the reactor.

“The affected transformer is associated with Unit 2’s electrical output and does not impact nuclear or public safety,” said a TVA spokesperson. The current transformer issue is not related to a transformer fire that occurred on Aug. 30, he added.

TVA is conducting a thorough evaluation of the transformer in order to ensure ongoing safe operation prior to restarting Unit 2, the spokesperson said.

The commercial operation designation means that TVA is now treating it as a working asset, rather than a development project.

TVA Watts Bar 2 became the nation’s first new nuclear generation in 20 years has officially entered commercial operation on Oct. 19.  Watts Bar 2 first hit 100% power in late September after gradually increasing its electric generation.

The addition of a second 1,150-MW pressurized water reactor (PWR) at the site means that the Watts Bar nuclear station has a generating capacity of roughly 2,300 MW.

Watts Bar 1 was listed at 100% power on Oct. 24.

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