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TVA starts planned refueling, upgrade work on Sequoyah nuclear unit 2

Photo courtesy NRC.

Scheduled refueling and extensive planned maintenance work has begun on the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant Unit 2 in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Valley Authority disconnected Sequoyah Unit 2 on Saturday after 487 days of continuous power operation. Sequoyah 2 had generated nearly 14 billion KWh of carbon-free electricity during that time, according to the TVA.

“This scheduled outage allows us to complete necessary work to ensure the people and businesses we serve can continue to rely on us to deliver reliable, low-cost, carbon-free electricity during these unprecedented times and beyond,” said Matt Rasmussen, TVA Sequoyah site vice president. “The team will load new nuclear fuel and perform key maintenance activities that can only be safely completed with the unit offline.”

The TVA has been planning this outage event for more than three years ago. Over 10,000 work activities are planned, including loading new fuel assemblies, performing inspections of reactor components, maintenance of plant equipment and installing unit enhancements.

“Sequoyah’s highly skilled workforce is making the most of this opportunity to ensure Unit 2 continues to operate safely and reliably until its next refueling outage about 18 months from now,” added Rasmussen.

Recognizing the unique challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak, Sequoyah reduced the amount of work required for this outage, significantly reducing the number of supplemental workers that will be brought on site. The plant has also taken multiple, significant actions to help protect the health and well-being of employees and supplemental workers, including required health screenings prior to plant entry each day.

Sequoyah Unit 2 is one of seven operational TVA nuclear reactors across the Valley. Collectively, TVA’s nuclear fleet safely and reliably provides more than 40 percent of all electricity used by nearly 10 million people in the Tennessee Valley.

Sequoyah is the state’s most powerful plant and was built in the 1970s along the Chickamauga Lake portion of the Tennessee River. The 3,455-MW units 1 and 2 were commissioned in 1981 and 1982, respectively.