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Watts Bar Unit 2 Progress Continues Through Fourth Quarter

July 18, 2013

SPRING CITY, Tenn. ― The Tennessee Valley Authority on Thursday announced a fourth quarterly update confirming the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant’s Unit 2 reactor remains on target for most likely commercial operation to begin in December 2015.

“The Watts Bar 2 team is meeting targets for safety, quality, cost and schedule,” said Mike Skaggs, TVA senior vice president for Nuclear Construction. “The team is working the plan that has been laid out, using comprehensive metrics to monitor progress and making effective adjustments when potential issues arise.”

TVA issued its fourth quarterly update on Watts Bar 2 since the TVA board of directors last year approved the continued construction of the project under a revised Estimate to Complete analysis that included ranges of completion dates from September 2015 to June 2016, and of total project costs of $4 billion to $4.5 billion.

The latest report, covering work performed from February through April 2013, provided several highlights and milestones.

  • Workers achieved more than 19.7 million hours without a lost-time accident, and a recordable injury rate that is better than goal.
  • The quality acceptance rate for completed work remains high, improving to above 97 percent.
  • A service air system became the first plant system in more than a year to be completed and turned over for testing.
  • The project continued on a track within its overall budget.
  • Scheduling performance met expectations for the quarter, and the schedule is on track to meet project completion milestones.
  • No new issues were identified that currently compromise completion.


“The targets are being met the right way  through the craftsmanship demonstrated by the men and women building the plant and by the way they go about their work every day,” Skaggs said.

Efforts were made to further improve the work environment, based on an assessment in the previous quarter. Actions focused on more effectively communicating information about the project and its progress; removing barriers so work can be done safer, better and faster; and improving teamwork for the eventual dual operation of Unit 1, which has been operating since 1996, and the new Unit 2.

Skaggs said key focus areas in the next quarter will be simplifying work orders involving multiple systems and components; completing construction of several plant systems; detailed scheduling for electrical work and planning for open vessel testing.

“Challenges are anticipated as the transition continues from bulk construction work to system turnover and testing at the same time the project is accelerating system completions,” Skaggs explained. “We will address those challenges and continue to prepare for the transition of Watts Bar from one unit operating and one unit under construction to what it was designed to be  a safe, reliable dual-unit operation station that will provide a new source of cleaner energy to our generation portfolio.”

When complete, Watts Bar 2 is expected to generate about 1,100 megawatts, enough electricity to supply about 650,000 Tennessee Valley homes.

For a copy of the Quarterly Update to the Watts Bar 2 Estimate to Complete, go to

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.

Media Contact

Duncan Mansfield, Knoxville, 865-632-4660
TVA Public Relations, Knoxville, 865-632-6000
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