Business Briefs: Grade improves at TVA's Watts Bar

Business Briefs: Grade improves at TVA's Watts Bar

April 1st, 2014 by Staff Reports and Wire Service in Business Around the Region

Steam rises from the cooling tower of the Unit 1 reactor at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Spring City, Tenn.

Steam rises from the cooling tower of the...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Grade improves at TVA's Watts Bar

After being fined $70,000 last year for failing to verify equipment reliability, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday that the Tennessee Valley Authority is now meeting all regulatory standards for construction of its newest nuclear reactor.

Joel Munday, director of construction projects at the NRC, said TVA corrected the three violations identified last spring that resulted in a civil penalty against TVA for not ensuring that equipment being installed at Watts Bar Unit 2 met nuclear standards. Munday said TVA's performance "is satisfactory" toward completing the new Watts Bar unit for power generation by late 2015.

The NRC, which has spent more than 13,000 hours in the past year inspecting and assessing Watts Bar, has scheduled meetings at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on April 9 at the Comfort Inn in Athens, Tenn., to update the status of the TVA facility.

"We hold these meetings to make our staff available to people who live close to the site and answer questions about our oversight of construction," said Victor McCree, regional administrator for the NRC in Atlanta.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the scheduled NRC meetings would be April 8. The correct date is April 9.

Exxon bullish on fossil fuel

NEW YORK - On the same day the world's scientists issued their latest report on climate change and the risks it poses to society, the nation's biggest oil and gas company said the world's climate policies are "highly unlikely" to stop it from selling fossil fuels.

Exxon Mobil issued a report Monday on the risks that climate change policies could pose to the value of its assets and future profitability, by coincidence on the same day as the latest paper by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Exxon's report was in response to the contentions of some shareholders and environmental activists that the assets underpinning the value of Exxon and other fossil fuel companies will be worth less.