Power Ascension Testing
Power Ascension Testing activities for Watts Bar Unit 2 are continuing the right way—safely, with quality and in a manner that protects the operating unit. Significant progress has been made the past few months and testing continues to validate that Unit 2 will operate as designed and that a quality asset will be put into operation for TVA customers in the near future.
“The Watts Bar team is working hard to safely integrate Unit 2 into the nuclear fleet,” said Watts Bar Site Vice President Paul Simmons. “It is a challenging task to bring a unit into operation the first time and one we are doing it the right way, taking the actions and time necessary to deliver a safe, quality asset—that is what’s important.”
Unit 2 is expected to reach initial criticality in May with commercial operation in summer 2016 at a total estimated project cost of $4.7 billion, within the range approved by the TVA Board earlier this year.
“From the beginning, we have said we would bring Unit 2 online the right way, and we remain steadfast in that commitment,” Simmons said. “Identifying issues as equipment is rigorously tested is expected with a complex project such as this. The issues have been properly addressed and TVA continues to thoroughly address conditions as they occur to ensure that TVA’s newest generation asset is safe to operate in every respect. At the same time, we are taking actions improve the work environment across the site.”
Power Ascension Testing is the final phase in a program of comprehensive tests designed to ensure that Watts Bar Unit 2 is capable of delivering electricity safely, reliably and efficiently to TVA’s power system. Power Ascension Testing will continue beyond initial criticality, with plant systems and controls being monitored and tested as Unit 2 is gradually increased to 100 percent power, shut down and returned to full power operation. After the unit is returned to full power following the final shut down test and has operated for 20 days, it will be ready to be declared commercially operable.