TVA scraps Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant, puts it up for sale

The two cooling towers at TVA's Bellefonte nuclear power plant in Hollywood, Ala., tower 500 feet above the ground.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is putting its Bellefonte nuclear plant on the block.

TVA directors voted Thursday to declare the unfinished power plant as surplus and move later this year to sell the 1,600-acre site in Hollywood, Ala., at a public auction to the highest bidder.

Although TVA has spent more than $5 billion to build and maintain the twin-reactor complex over the past 42 years, the TVA board was told Thursday a new property appraisal estimates the riverfront site and all of its reactor buildings, cooling towers and electrical switch yards is now worth only $36.4 million.

TVA is preparing to activate a second reactor at its Watts Bar Nuclear Plant next month, but TVA projects it won't need the power from any other major new power plants like Bellefonte for more than 20 years, if not longer.