First Nuclear Reactor in 20 Years Begins Operation Back »

Devin Henry of The Hill wrote an article titled First New US nuclear Reactor in 20 years Enters Operation, below is a summary of this article.


The United States first “new” nuclear power plant, the Watts Bar 2 reactor, has become operational in Tennessee. This Tennessee Valley Authority, (TVA) 1,150-megawatt reactor is online and producing electricity for 650,000 homes and businesses. The Watts Bar 2 is the 100th nuclear reactor to operate in the United States and the first new reactor to open in 20 years.

Project Scope

The TVA now has six nuclear reactors in its fleet. The Tennessee Valley Authority’s mission is to make life better in the valley by providing reliable, low-cost energy, protecting our areas natural resources and working to attract business and growth.

Construction on the Watts Bar 2 reactor began in 1973 but was put on hold in 1985. Construction was restarted in 2007 and it was finally completed in 2015 at a cost of $4.7 billion. It meets the stronger standard approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011. There are four other nuclear reactors under construction in the U.S. and they are expected to come on line in the next four years.


Reference: Henry D (2016, October 20) First New US Nuclear Reactor in 20 Years Enters Operation. The Hill.

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