Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is planning to cut spending on its partially completed Bellefonte nuclear project by reducing the number of staff working on the site. Its priority remains the completion of Watts Bar 2.
The utility, which provides power to 9 million customers in seven southeastern states, said that it could reduce spending and staff on the Bellefonte project "while continuing to protect the facility for future potential development."
TVA said it plans to cut the budget for Bellefonte, from $182 million in fiscal year 2013 to just $66 million between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2014.
It also plans to reduce staffing by almost three quarters from 540 to around 140 "over the next several months." Last year the number of contractors working on the project was cut by almost 50% from 900 to 430.
"The most important job in nuclear construction is to safely deliver Watts Bar 2 in a quality manner, on time and within budget. Protecting the Bellefonte asset is also at the top of our 'must and will do' list," said Mike Skaggs, TVA's senior vice president for nuclear construction.
Activities that will continue on the Bellefonte site between now and September 2014 including performing core maintenance, protecting plant records and documentation, developing and validating completion estimates, and security work, TVA said.
Work on Bellefonte 1, a 1260 MW Babcock and Wilcox pressurized water reactor in northern Alabama was halted in 1988, when it was 88% completed. In May 2010, TVA decided in favour of completing the reactor, over construction of a new Westinghouse AP1000 unit at the site.
Photo: The Bellefonte site (Source: TVA)