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Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee Valley Authority’


Friday, September 17th, 2010

The TVA chose one from column A and two from column B in mapping out its energy strategy for the next twenty years.  More nuclear, less coal, more energy efficiency and demand response programs and more renewable energy was the formula put forth in first draft of TVA’s Integrated Resource Plan, which was posted on its website this week.

The plan actually included five alternatives. A plan where nuclear expansion was rejected was ranked second. Another plan calling for almost complete reliance on nuclear was rejected. The plant will be open to comment at a series of open public meetings over the next few months before being finalized next March.

Press reports immediately began putting their own spin on the announcement. One story bore the headline, “TVA is considering strategies that include delaying new nuclear units until 2022.”  This referred to the second-ranked option – which still included completion of the 1,180-MW Watts Barr II, now under construction. The report did not give much attention to the first-ranked option.

The Tennessean, published in Nashville, listed perfunctory details and then immediately switched to the reaction of Stephen A. Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Smith … said he strongly supports the idea of phasing out old coal plants, but that energy efficiency and renewable energy sources should be given more emphasis.  The group also said in an emailed statement today that it was concerned about `TVA’s enthusiasm for high-risk nuclear  power development.’"

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is certain to represented at the opening hearing on Oct. 5.


Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Before the end of the 2010s is over, the Tennessee Valley Authority will be able to lay claim to the distinction of successfully launching:

·       The last commercial U.S. nuclear power plant to come on-line in the 20th Century (Watts Bar Unit One)
·       The first U.S. plant to come on line in the 21st Century (Browns Ferry Unit One); and
·       The first nuclear power to come on-line in the first chapter of the U.S. Nuclear Renaissance era (Watts Bar Two). Watts Bar Unit Two is projected to add 1,180 megawatts to the TVA nuclear fleet in 2013.
On Friday, these impressive achievements were bolstered by an announcement that the TVA Board of Directors has blessed investing about $250 million toward the potential completion of the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant Unit 1 in Alabama.  TVA is envisioning a 1,260-megawatts reactor with completion costs ball-parked between $4 billion and $5 billion.
These projects collectively are creating thousands of  jobs and have put TVA on the frontlines of the U.S. Nuclear Renaissance.  TVA has also shown that nuclear power plants can be built at projected costs and schedules.
Purists will point out that the new Browns Ferry and Watts Bar plants were either shut-down or mothballed projects – not new nuclear units.  In this vein, baseball fans may remember that in the middle of Roger Maris’ historic chase in 1961 to beat Babe Ruth’s historic home run record, Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick announced there would be a distinction in the record books if Maris took more games to break the Bambino’s record, which was achieved in 154 games.  In fact, it took Maris 162 games.   Well, after a decade or more of steroids induced home runs, both Babe Ruth’s and Roger Maris’ achievements are looking appropriately Herculean these days as are TVA’s initiative, jobs and clean energy leadership.
Hats off to TVA — the unheralded U.S. Nuclear Renaissance trailblazer – on its latest milestone. 


Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

By Nuclear Townhall Staff
Perhaps the most promising aspect of the Nuclear Renaissance is the revival of high-paying engineering, machine operating and construction skills in this country. That process is already beginning in Alabama.

Northeast Alabama Community College announced this week it will be opening a new training center for nuclear workers within sight of the Tennessee Valley Authority's Bellefonte site.

"TVA expects to hire and train many people in these fields over the next decade," said NACC president David Campbell, who also serves as chairman of the Jackson County Economic Development Authority.

Jobs will range from industrial electronics and machine maintenance to construction skills such as welders, pipefitters and electricians. After a two-and-a-half-year training program with TVA, electricians make a starting salary of $63,000.

The TVA has two partially completed reactors at the Bellefonte site. It is currently deliberating on whether to resume construction or to begin anew with the Westinghouse AP1000 design. Even if TVA decides not to build at all, Campbell said, there would be plenty of job opportunities at the utility's other newly completed reactors at Watts Bar and Brown's Ferry.

One of the favorite arguments against the Nuclear Renaissance has been that America no longer has the industrial skills to build anything as complicated as a nuclear reactor. Specialty welders of the kind required by containment structures, for instance, are now in short supply. But NACC initiative shows that the Nuclear Renaissance is going to be about more than providing the nation with adequate power – it's going to be about the revival of good industrial jobs.

Read more at the Times-Journal