TVA completes Watts Bar Unit 2 systems testing

The Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Station in Rhea County, Tenn.
The Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Station in Rhea County, Tenn. | Courtesy of the NRC and Tenn. Valley Authority
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced Tuesday that it has completed testing of the Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear reactor and its associated systems.

Over the course of the testing process no pressing issues were found and the facility, located near Spring City, Tennessee, had been operating as designed.

“Successful completion of these tests demonstrates the key operational readiness of Watts Bar Unit 2 in preparation to load fuel,” Watts Bar Operations and Construction Senior Vice President Mike Skaggs said. “Good work by our team has brought us to where we are today as we validate the unit’s ability to operate safely and the station’s readiness for dual-unit operation."

This testing was the first time that approximately 60 systems associated with the reactor were operating in sync with each other. This testing, hot functional testing, evaluated the plant's equipment and its ability to withstand pressure and heat generated from the reactor's normal operations.

The test plays a key part in the preoperational requirements and will allow the TVA to obtain an operating license from the U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The TVA said that Unit 2 at the Watts Bar facility will be the first nuclear reactor to become operational in this century. The plant is estimated to produce 1,150 megawatts of electricity.
  
The next steps for the reactor include additional testing to ensure the integrity of the containment and safety equipment and systems.

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Tennessee Valley Authority

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