TVA’s Watts Bar Unit 2 Achieves Commercial Operation

First New U.S. Nuclear Reactor in 20 Years

On October 19, 2016, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA’s) Watts Bar Unit 2 officially entered commercial operation after successfully completing an extensive series of power ascension tests and reliably operating at full power for more than three weeks, becoming the nation’s first new nuclear generation in 20 years.

“TVA’s mission is to make life better in the Valley by providing reliable, low-cost energy, protecting our area’s natural resources and working to attract business and growth—all priorities simultaneously supported by the completion of Watts Bar Unit 2,” said Bill Johnson, TVA President and CEO.  “Watts Bar Unit 2 is a key part of our commitment to produce cleaner energy without sacrificing the reliability and low cost that draws both industry and residents to our area.”

According to TVA, the $4.7 billion capital construction project was completed on budget.  The unit now moves to working asset status.

In announcing the milestone, TVA notes that the Watts Bar Unit 2 has already provided consumers across the Valley with more than 500 million kilowatt/hours of carbon-free energy during testing.  It now joins six other operating TVA nuclear units to supply more than one third of the region’s generating capacity and meeting the electric needs of more than 4.5 million homes.

Watts Bar, Sequoyah and Browns Ferry nuclear stations have also contributed to reducing TVA’s carbon emissions by 30 percent since 2005.  According to TVA, the reduction will rise to 60 percent by 2020.

“Nuclear power remains the only source of carbon-free energy that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Joe Grimes, TVA Executive Vice President of Generation and Chief Nuclear Officer.  “TVA believes that Watts Bar Unit 2, and other nuclear units like it across the Valley and the nation, represents a vital investment in our clean energy future.”

Texas Compact Commission Holds September 2016 Meeting

On September 29, 2016, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) held a regularly scheduled meeting in Burlington, Vermont.  The following is an abbreviated overview of the agenda for the meeting:

  • call to order;
  • roll call and determination of quorum;
  • introduction of Commissioners, elected officials and press;
  • public comment;
  • Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin will address the Commission;
  • discussion by Entergy Vermont Yankee regarding the closure and decommissioning of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant;
  • consideration of and possible action on applications and proposed agreements for importation of low-level radioactive waste from Tennessee Valley Authority; RAM Services; Qal-Tek; Alaron Veolia; PG & E; SNC – Plant Vogtle; Duke – Brunswick; Duke – Brunswick (irradiated hardware); and, Dominion Kewaunee;
  • consideration of and possible action on petitions and proposed orders for exportation of low-level radioactive waste from Triad Isotopes and the University of Vermont;
  • receive reports from Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) about recent site operations and any other matter WCS wishes to bring to the attention of the Texas Compact Commission;
  • receive reports from Texas Compact Commission committees including the Rules Committee (as Chaired by Commissioner Morris) and the Capacity Committee (as Chaired by Commissioner Weber);
  • consideration and possible action to authorize the Chair to evaluate and potentially select alternative and/or additional service providers for IT and website related activities—initial scope will include maintenance of present website, evaluation of alternative platforms and implementation of workflow automation tools with an initial budget not to exceed $5,000;
  • Chairman’s report on Texas Compact Commission activities including reporting on fiscal matters to be taken by the compact and addressing personnel matters;
  • report from Leigh Ing, Executive Director of the Texas Compact Commission, on her activities and questions related to Texas Compact Commission operations;
  • discussion and possible changes of dates and locations of future Texas Compact Commission meetings in 2016 and 2017; and,
  • adjourn.


The Texas Compact Commission may meet in closed session as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551, Texas Government Code.  Texas Compact Commission meetings are open to the public.

For additional information, please contact Texas Compact Commission Executive Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at