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TVA Watts Bar Unit 2, Rhea County, Tennessee

STATUS:  In progress with opposition

TYPE: Nuclear

OPPOSITION:  Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League; Sierra Club; Union of Concerned Scientists; Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; Tennessee Environmental Council; We the People, Inc.

PROSPECTS:  Likely

BACKGROUND:  The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) partially built, then suspended construction of, the Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear reactor in 1985.  On August 3, 2007, TVA informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of its plan to resume construction of Watts Bar Unit 2.  The finished unit will generate 1,180 megawatts of electricity.  It will cost $2.5 billion to complete.  TVA estimates that 2,300 contract workers will be needed during the height of construction, and the project will result in about 250 additional permanent jobs at the plant.  The unit will be completed as originally designed, incorporating additional modifications made to its sister unit, WBN Unit 1, which has been operating since 1996.  No expansion of the existing site footprint will be required

On July 7, 2008, the NRC issued an Order extending the Watts Bar Unit 2 construction permit completion date to March 31, 2013.  A host of national and local environmental groups have challenged the project and have petitioned the NRC not to issue a final license for the new reactor.

SOURCES:  NRC (http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/reactor/wb/watts-bar.html);
TVA (http://www.tva.gov/environment/reports/wattsbar2/; http://www.tva.gov/power/nuclear/wattsbar.htm); 
Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2009/oct/06/tennessee-watts-bar-nuclear-reactor-too-risky-crit/; http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2009/jul/20/tva-moves-toward-2012-startup-of-watts-bar-ii/).

Last Updated:  November 10, 2010