published Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Storms to cost TVA up to $200 million

Unit 1 resumes limited power output

The Tennessee Valley Authority said today that last month’s storms are expected to cost the utility up to $200 million to replace lost power generation and to repair damaged transmission lines.

TVA restarted its oldest nuclear reactor at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant over the weekend. But the federal utility is still getting only limited power output from its biggest nuclear plant more than three weeks after tornadoes cut power to Browns Ferry.

TVA’s nuclear communications director Ray Golden said today that the Unit 1 reactor at Browns Ferry was operating at about 19 percent of its capacity after plant workers restarted the reactor late Friday afternoon. The two other reactors at Browns Ferry are still idle, although TVA is working to soon resume power generation at those units, Golden said.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, TVA said repairing damaged transmission lines in Alabama will cost up to $30 million. TVA is having to spend far more to replace the power lost when all three reactors at Browns Ferry shut down last month after storms cut nearly all power in and out of the plant.

The Browns Ferry units were safely shut down using backup power from emergency diesel generators, Golden said. But TVA was unable to operate any of the units for three weeks and is still working to get the reactors reconnected to the power grid and service back to normal, Golden said.

Read more in tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

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