Nuclear, O&M, Plant Optimization, Retrofits & Upgrades

TVA gives Watts Bar nuclear unit 2 a scheduled refuel, maintenance break

The Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2 has been shut down for its scheduled refueling and maintenance outage, the Tennessee Valley Authority reported this week.

Watts Bar 2 has been operating non-stop for the past 17 months (or 492 days), generating more than 13.5 billion kWh of electricity. The Spring City, Tenn. site’s two units produce enough power for 1.3 million homes.

 “Our work during the first outage allowed Watts Bar Unit 2 to generate safe, low-cost, carbon-free nuclear energy to reliably power daily life across the Tennessee Valley for 492 days,” said Tony Williams, site vice president. “During this outage, we will focus on safely improving our plant systems to deliver the next 18 months of safe, reliable service for the Valley.”

Watts Bar staff will be joined by 900 additional TVA and contracted employees during the outage. Nearly 10,000 activities are planned for maintenance and refueling, including loading new fuel assemblies, inspections, equipment maintenance and upgrades.

Unit 1 went through its scheduled outage and maintenance break back in September 2018. Together the two units can produce about 2,300 MW in generating capacity.

Watts Bar Unit 1 was completed in 1996 and Unit 2 about four years ago.

The TVA gains about 40 percent of its generated power from nuclear stations. This fleet includes three plants: Browns Ferry in Alabama, Sequoyah and Watts Bar in Tennessee.

Together those three stations produce up to 7,800 MW and produce zero carbon emissions.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International. He can be reached at 918-831-0177 and [email protected]).