TVA’s Watts Bar Unit 2 achieves commercial operation

TVA says the nation’s first new nuclear generation in 20 years has officially entered commercial operation. (Image: TVA)

TVA says the nation’s first new nuclear generation in 20 years has officially entered commercial operation.

The utility says after the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Unit 2 successfully completed an extensive series of power ascension tests and reliably operated at full power for more than three weeks.

“TVA’s mission is to make life better in the Valley by providing reliable, low-cost energy, protecting our area’s natural resources and working to attract business and growth – all priorities simultaneously supported by the completion of Watts Bar Unit 2,” said Bill Johnson, TVA president and CEO.

“Watts Bar Unit 2 is a key part of our commitment to produce cleaner energy without sacrificing the reliability and low cost that draws both industry and residents to our area.”

TVA says the $4.7 billion capital construction project was completed on budget. The unit now moves to working asset status.

TVA says Watts Bar Unit 2 has already provided consumers across the Valley with more than 500 million kilowatt/hours of carbon-free energy during testing. It now joins six other operating TVA nuclear units to supply more than one third of the region’s generating capacity, and meeting the electric needs of more than 4.5 million homes.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said, “Today’s announcement that Watts Bar Unit 2 is officially operating as a commercial reactor, after extensive tests and safe operation, is good news for Tennessee and the nation. This is the country’s first new nuclear reactor completed in the 21st Century, and it will provide cheap, carbon-free and reliable electricity to the Tennessee Valley for decades to come. Congress, states, federal agencies, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should work more closely with utilities to maintain our existing reactors when it is safe to do so and build more reactors, because without nuclear power – it will be much harder to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.”

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