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Watts Bar Unit 2: Moving Toward Completion

Issue 2 and Volume 3.

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Detailed hands-on inspections verify that plant documentation matches the newly installed equipment in the control room as well as in the plant. Photo by David Luttrell.

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant is on 1,700 acres on the northern end of Chickamauga Reservoir in east Tennessee. It has two Westinghouse designed pressurized water reactors.

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Six moisture separator reheaters replace original equipment removed from Unit 2. Each reheater is about 51.6 feet long, 11.6 feet in diameter and weighs roughly 260,000 pounds dry. Photo by David Luttrell.

The plant was named for a sandbar at Watts Island that hampered navigation on the Tennessee River until it was flooded by Watts Bar Reservoir.

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Unit 2 configuration will match that of the operating unit to ensure licensed operators can staff either unit. Photo by David Luttrell.

Groundbreaking on Watts Bar Nuclear Plant occurred in 1972, with major construction beginning a year later.

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In areas not serviced by overhead cranes, the moisture separator reheaters (MSRs)required custom rigging. This included a temporary crane to offload the MSRs from barges, a transporter to move them to the turbine building and temporary rails to move them into final position. Photos by David Luttrell.
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Unit 1, the last commercial nuclear unit in the United States to come online in the 20th century, began commercial operation in May 1996. Unit 1 is capable of producing 1,170 MW.

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Decisions were made on a case-by-case basis either to replace or refurbish equipment or components. In some instances, such as the rewinding of the generator (left) refurbishment is the best option.

In August 2007, the TVA Board decided to complete construction of Unit 2. The $2.5 billion project to complete Unit 2 by 2013 will add 1,180 MW to the TVA power system. Some 2,300 contract workers are expected during the height of construction and the project will result in about 250 additional permanent jobs at the plant.

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Over the years, Unit 2 equipment was often removed and used in TVA’s operating units making it necessary to replace components such as the reactor coolant pumps. In many cases, replacing original equipment with new will lead to increased efficiency, higher reliability or lower operating costs. TVA photos.
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