Saturday, June 09, 2012

Watts Bar Over Budget & Schedule

Watts Bar
Tennessee Valley Authority on April 5 provided an update on the progress of construction at the Watts Bar 2 nuclear power plant near Spring City, Tenn. Expected to be completed by 2013 with a total cost of $2.49 billion, TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore said the estimates on both cost and time were wrong.

Kilgore said the initial detailed scoping, estimating and planning study done on the unit in 2007 and approved by the TVA board appeared "aggressive but doable" at that time. The DSEP approved by the board in 2007 projected a 60-month construction schedule and a cost of $2.49 billion.

TVA now expects the project to cost an additional $1.5 billion to $2 billion to complete, putting the total cost to complete Watts Bar 2 near $4 billion to $4.5 billion. TVA also said they will not complete the project by 2013 as expected. Officials said they now expect to have the unit operational between September and December 2015.

"We didn't do a good enough job when we started in 2007," Kilgore said. "While our intentions were well founded, our execution and progress reviews were not."

Kilgore said a new leadership team is now in place to correct the problems and successfully complete Watts Bar 2. Despite the sharp increase in costs, Watts Bar 2 remains a cost-effective solution to meeting the region's baseload power needs, Kilgore said. (Power Engineering, 5/1/2012)

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