Photo by Dave Flessner / This file photo shows Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant on the Tennessee River near Soddy-Daisy.

TVA refuels reactor at Sequoyah plant

The oldest reactor at the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant near Soddy-Daisy is back to full power again after the TVA workers and contractors completed a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage this week.

The Unit 1 reactor at Sequoyah Plant generates enough power for 650,000 homes and Nuclear Regulatory Commission resident inspectors reported Thursday that the plant is operating safely in all key measures monitored by the NRC.

"The entire Sequoyah team, supported by our union and contract partners, safely completed over 11,700 work activities during the outage," said Tom Marshall, Sequoyah site vice president. "The work we performed together in this outage puts Unit 1 in the best position to continue to operate safely and reliably over the next 18-month cycle."

In addition to replacing 85 of the unit's 193 fuel assemblies, detailed inspections of various systems were conducted to confirm all components are fully able to perform their safety functions. Other major maintenance activities included replacing or refurbishing a number of motors, valves and other plant components

TVA has already completed scheduled refueling outages at Browns Ferry Unit 2 and Sequoyah Unit 1 this spring. Watts Bar Unit 1 is scheduled to begin its next refueling outage this fall.


Wall Street rebounds from 3 days of losses

Wall Street followed up a three-day losing streak with a broad stock market rally Thursday powered by Big Tech companies and banks.

The S&P 500 notched a 1.2% gain, clawing back almost half of its loss from a day earlier, when it had its biggest one-day drop since February. Even so, the benchmark index is on track for a 2.8% weekly decline, which would be its largest since January. The other major indexes were also on pace for sharp weekly declines, despite recouping some of their losses.

In a switch from Monday, the energy sector was the only loser in the S&P 500 as oil prices fell sharply. It's not uncommon for markets to reverse direction after sharp gains or losses over a period of days as investors reassess markets and pause during periods of volatility.

"Investors have kind of gotten conditioned about when there's volatility and when there are pullbacks: step in and buy the dip, and you will be rewarded in short order," said Sameer Samana, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.


Chick-fil-A tests new delivery-only option

Chick-fil-A is launching a new delivery-only concept, and it plans to bring it to Georgia.

The Atlanta-based fast food chain said it is starting a stand-alone delivery kitchen concept — something other restaurants have experimented with as a way to get food to consumers without the cost of traditional dining rooms.

Chick-fil-A's version, with no drive-thru or dining room, is slated to be called Little Blue Menu. The company said the name stems from founder Truett Cathy's original blue, ever-changing menu used at his Hapeville Dwarf House.

The new concept, "focused on variety, delivery and innovation," will open in Nashville later this year and in Atlanta next year.

"We're constantly challenging ourselves to ensure we're meeting our customers where they are," a company statement posted on its website said.

The menu is slated to include Chick-fil-A classics as well as other options — "think salads, roasted chicken, wings and more," the company said.

Chick-fil-A's mainline business has been growing fast, though at a bit less torrid pace last year. The parent company's sales and profits soared even amid the pandemic when its nearly 2,600 franchisee-operated restaurants had mostly closed off dine-in eating, relying instead on drive-thrus, pickup and delivery.


Hyundai plans major EV investment in U.S.

Hyundai plans to invest $7.4 billion in the U.S. by 2025 to make electronic vehicles, enhance production facilities and invest further in smart mobility solutions.

Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp., said Thursday that Hyundai and Kia will invest in growing its electronic manufacturing footprint to scale production and satisfy U.S. market demands. Hyundai Motor will offer a variety of American-made electric vehicles to U.S. consumers starting next year.

Hyundai Motor Group will create a subsidiary in Washington D.C. to spearhead its urban air mobility businesses. In addition, Hyundai and its partner Aptiv will use their joint venture, Motional, to commercialize driverless technology.

Motional received a driverless license in Nevada and plans to commercialize robotaxi service there in 2023 along with its partner Lyft. Motional has started testing Hyundai's all-electric IONIQ 5 equipped with advanced autonomous driving technology on public roads.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner