Federal regulators today approved an operating license for TVA’s Watts Bar Unit 2, allowing the first new American nuclear plant to begin operation in nearly two decades.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission today approved an operating license for the second reactor at Watts Bar, nearly 43 years after the regulatory agency first granted a construction permit for work to begin on the nuclear plant near Spring City, Tenn. The license allows TVA to load nuclear fuel into the new unit and begin testing of the equipment and likely produce power by the end of the year.
NRC commissioners this spring authorized William Dean, director of the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, to grant the operating license once TVA met all of its regulatory requirements. The last nuclear unit to get an operating license in the United States was Watts Bar Unit 1 in February 1996.