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Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2 Completion and Operation

Rhea County, Tennessee

On August 2, 2007, the Tennessee Valley Authority issued a Record of Decision for the proposed completion and operation of Watts Bar Nuclear (WBN) Plant Unit 2. TVA has decided to implement the preferred alternative identified in its final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Completion and Operation of Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2, Rhea County, Tennessee.

Under the selected alternative, TVA will meet the need for additional base-load electrical generating capacity in the TVA system and for maximizing the use of its existing assets. The unit will be completed as originally designed, incorporating additional modifications made to its sister unit, WBN Unit 1, which has been operating since 1996. No expansion of the existing site footprint will be required. TVA currently holds a valid construction permit for completing WBN Unit 2.

The draft SEIS was available for a 45-day public review period, during which a public meeting was held. TVA’s responses to comments received during the comment period are provided in Appendix D of the final SEIS.

The final SEIS, issued June 23, 2007, supplements, incorporates by reference, utilizes, tiers from, and updates information from the substantial environmental record previously prepared for actions related to the construction and operation of WBN, including an update of the need-for-power analysis. Copies of the key related documents are available.

The final SEIS augments the analyses in the draft SEIS by further discussing WBN cooling water systems, hydrothermal conditions in the Tennessee River for two-unit operation, and chemical additives to raw water. It also updates these sections: need for power, socioeconomic, floodplains, nuclear plant safety and security, radiological effects, and decommissioning. The final SEIS concluded that WBN Unit 2 could be completed and operated without significant adverse impacts on the environment.

A number of alternatives to constructing and operating WBN, including the no-action alternative, were considered in TVA’s original final environmental impact statement for Watts Bar Nuclear Plant (1972), in TVA’s 1995 Integrated Resource Plan (“Energy Vision 2020”) EIS, and in other environmental documents. No new alternatives for the completion and operation of WBN Unit 2 were considered in the present review. In addition to this SEIS, TVA conducted a detailed scoping, estimating, and planning (DSEP) study. TVA used information from both the DSEP and the SEIS to make an informed decision about whether or not to complete and operate WBN Unit 2.

Once construction of WBN Unit 2 resumes, TVA will apply to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for an operating license. The application process includes preparation of a final safety analysis report (FSAR) and an environmental report. NRC is expected to conduct its own environmental review prior to issuing an operating license.


PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Record of Decision (PDF, 198 kb)

Summary (PDF, 147 kb)

Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (PDF, 1.8 mb)

Response to Comments (PDF, 1.9 mb)

Printed or compact-disc copies of the final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement are available on request from Ruth Horton.


Ruth Horton
TVA NEPA Administration
400 West Summit Hill Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37902

James S. Chardos
Watts Bar Nuclear Plant
Watts Bar Highway
P.O. Box 2000
Spring City, TN 37381



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