New U.S. Nuclear Power Plant Goes Online
For the first time in twenty years, a new nuclear power plant in the U.S. has begun commercial operations. The Tennessee Valley Authority, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, announced that the second unit at the Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Station in Spring City, Tennessee had successfully completed all necessary power ascension tests and was considered to be fully commercial. The completion of the Watts Bar 2 unit marks the first nuclear reactor to go online since Watts Bar unit 1 was completed in 1996. Unit 2 has been operating at full power for about three weeks and has already provided more than 500 million kilowatt/hours of emissions-free electricity. TVA estimates that Unit 2 will provide enough electricity to power 4.5 million homes throughout the South. Unit 2 becomes the seventh nuclear power plant operated by TVA and is the first of five new reactors to be brought online within the next ten years.