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Bechtel Applauds Successful Licensing of Second Reactor at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant

  • 21 October 2015
    RESTON, Virginia
  • Americas, Defense & Nuclear Security, Engineering, Procurement & Construction, Environmental Cleanup & Management, Press Release, Project & Program Management

First New Nuclear Reactor Authorized to Operate This Century in the United States

Bechtel today applauded the historic decision Thursday by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to grant an operating license to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Unit 2 in Spring City, Tennessee, the first new nuclear reactor to receive authorization to operate this century in the United States. Bechtel was the primary construction contractor on the completion of Watts Bar Unit 2 and has been working at the site since 2007. The last new nuclear plant to come online in the United States was Watts Bar Unit 1 in 1996.

“Licensure of a nuclear plant is a highly significant achievement,” said Craig Albert, president of Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security & Environmental business unit. “We applaud the decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and recognize it as a historic milestone for dependable, low-carbon electricity in the United States. Our congratulations go to the Tennessee Valley Authority and the thousands of construction, engineering, and technical staff who worked for years to reach this day. We look forward to fuel loading and the final steps still to come before the reactor begins providing electricity to the grid.”

Albert noted that nuclear energy will need to be part of the global energy mix. “To sustainably meet the world’s growing demands for low-carbon electricity, nuclear power must play a role in an all-of-the-above generation strategy,” Albert said.
Notable workforce achievements include:
  • A 98-percent quality-control acceptance rate on the first inspection.
  • An exceptional safety record, amassing at one time 33 million hours (nearly five years) without a day lost to injury.
  • In June of this year, Watts Bar was the first U.S. plant to complete post-Fukushima safety upgrades and an inspection by the NRC. 
  • Unit 2 successfully completed the NRC’s operational readiness team inspection this summer.
Bechtel has performed work on more than 80 percent of U.S. nuclear plants and 150 nuclear plants worldwide, on all major reactor models. Additional nuclear experience across the facility lifecycle includes environmental cleanup for the U.S. Department of Energy and the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, and co-management of U.S. nuclear security research laboratories and plants.

Learn more about Watts Bar Unit 2

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About Bechtel

Bechtel is a trusted engineering, construction and project management partner to industry and government. Differentiated by the quality of our people and our relentless drive to deliver the most successful outcomes, we align our capabilities to our customers’ objectives to create a lasting positive impact. Since 1898, we have helped customers complete more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents that have created jobs, grown economies, improved the resiliency of the world's infrastructure, increased access to energy, resources, and vital services, and made the world a safer, cleaner place.  

Bechtel serves the Energy; Infrastructure; Manufacturing & Technology; Mining & Metals; and Nuclear, Security & Environmental markets. Our services span from initial planning and investment, through start-up and operations.

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