TVA shuts down its newest reactor for refueling
America’s newest nuclear reactor was shut down over the weekend for refueling and maintenance to allow the Tennessee Valley Authority to bring the plant back into sustained operation for the colder winter months ahead.
The Unite 2 reactor at Watts Bar has operated at full power only about two-thirds of the time in its first year of operation since achieving commercial status in October 2016 as the fist new nuclear plan to be added to the U.S. electric grid in the 21st century.
The unit automatically shut down in March when the support beams failed on one of the plant’s condensers, which help convert the steam generated within the reactor back into water for recirculation in the closed loop system. TVA spend more than four months repairing the condenser on the non-nuclear side of the plant before restarting the unit again on Aug 1.