$2 Billion TVA Reactor Cost Overruns

Apr 7, 2012

SPRING CITY, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority cost estimate to complete Unit 2 at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in Spring City, Tenn.,  has been revised upward to $4.5 billion.

The earlier estimate in 2007 had been $2.5 billion.

In a statement released Thursday, the federal utility blamed the increase on poor previous estimates and that reviews to support the initial estimate were not completed.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has been a longtime opponent of TVA’s construction Watt’s Bar project. Spokesman Stephen Smith calls the cost overruns “unacceptable.”

“They’re in essence admitting that the prices were low-balled and the work was not properly characterized, and now rate-payers now end up ultimately footing the bill. So we think this has been mismanagement, we think the project was questionable at the very beginning, and now they’ve gone up another $2 billion.”

In addition to nearly doubling the reactor’s price, TVA also says the unit won’t be finished until the fall of 2015. The original plan called for the reactor to be completed this year.