published Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Cost of completing reactor at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant goes up as much as $2 billion

Watts Bar Nuclear Plant
Watts Bar Nuclear Plant
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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The cost of completing a second reactor at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant will likely cost TVA up to $2 billion more and take nearly three years longer than what TVA previously projected.

TVA President Tom Kilgore said today he will ask the TVA board for authorization to continue work on Watts Bar Unit 2, which is now projected to cost as much as $4.5 billion to finish and probably won’t be completed until December 2015. Kilgore said the plant still is needed and is cheaper than other energy sources even though its costs have jumped by nearly 70 percent from what TVA projected it would spend when the board approved the completion of the unit in 2007.

“Watts Bar Unit 2 remains a cost-effective solution for meeting the region’s base load power needs with clean energy at a competitive rate,” Kilgore said in a statement today.

Mike Skaggs, TVA senior vice president for nuclear construction, said corrective actions would address “the root cause findings and help deliver on the cost and time estimates.”

Skaggs said the construction review conducted since he took over management of the Unit 2 construction last year showed “walk downs to support the initial estimate were not completed. Management was misaligned, and planning was poor.”

“We now have a high-confidence cost estimate and milestone schedule,” Skaggs said.

Read more in tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

about Pam Sohn...

Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...

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