Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station

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Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station
Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant.jpg
Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station is located in Alabama
Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station
Location of Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station in Alabama
Country United States
Location Hollywood, Alabama
Coordinates 34°42′31″N 85°55′45″W / 34.70861°N 85.92917°W / 34.70861; -85.92917Coordinates: 34°42′31″N 85°55′45″W / 34.70861°N 85.92917°W / 34.70861; -85.92917
Status Proposed
Construction cost US$6 billion (Units 1 & 2)
Owner(s) Tennessee Valley Authority
Nuclear power station
Reactor type Pressurized water reactor
Reactor supplier Babcock & Wilcox[1]
Power generation
Units planned 2 × 1,100 MW[1]

The Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station (shortly BLN) is a partially completed nuclear power plant located in Hollywood, Alabama. A total of four reactors have been proposed over a period of 40 years, and billions of dollars have been spent, but the plant has produced no electricity. The site has been idle for more than 20 years and some spare parts have been taken from the two incomplete units. In 2011, the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors approved a plan to restart construction of the Bellefonte Unit 1 reactor.[2] The ultimate cost and timing for Bellefonte 1 will depend on work at another reactor TVA is completing - Watts Bar 2 in Tennessee.[3]

Units 1 and 2[edit]

The Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station site is owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority and is located in Hollywood, Alabama. The two partially built 1,256 megawatt (MWe) pressurized water reactors on the site were made by Babcock & Wilcox and are called a 205 design due to the number of fuel assemblies in the core. These units are of the same design as WNP-1 which is also unfinished, and as the Mülheim-Kärlich A reactor in Germany that operated for three years and proved the design. Unit 1 was 88%  complete (mechanical - nuclear island) and Unit 2 was 58% complete (mechanical - nuclear island) when development was suspended in 1988 after a $6 billion investment. Subsequent asset recovery activities, along with more recent inspections of remaining equipment, resulted in BLN 1&2 now being considered approximately 55 percent and 35 percent complete (mechanical - nuclear island only) respectively.[4]

Should completion of either of the units be decided upon, the experience in completing Watts Bar Unit 2 is instructive in both time to completion, and magnitude of the scope of the work. All of the remaining major equipment items delivered, installed, and not later removed, will have to be baseline reexamined for use in a design which will have to conform to standards and experience gained as a consequence of both major accidents and natural disasters that have occurred in the thirty-eight plus years since construction was initially begun. Each unit would require almost a decade to complete in amended design, detailed engineering, construction, validation, and testing, thru initial operations. The exact total cost of such an effort would also be unknown as the detailed design to meet the current "lessons learned" standards of design is not yet completed; and thus, the scale and scope of construction to initial operations (upon which the cost estimate would be based) is unknown.

Although the construction permits were terminated on September 15, 2006, TVA is investigating completion of these first two units with operation projected to start Unit 1 in 2017 and Unit 2 in 2021. In August 2008 TVA asked the NRC to reinstate the construction permits as part of the restart evaluation. This request was granted by the NRC on February 9, 2009, albeit as a terminated application which required significant inspection of all systems to bring the license to the deferred stage. The status was upgraded January 14, 2010 to deferred.[5]

Units 3 and 4[edit]

On September 22, 2005 it was announced that Bellefonte was also selected as the site for one or two AP1000 pressurized water reactors to be called Units 3 and 4. TVA filed the necessary applications[6] in November 2007 to begin the design and construction process. For details, see Nuclear Power 2010 Program.

In August 2009, the Tennessee Valley Authority, faced with "falling electric sales and rising costs from cleaning up a massive coal ash spill in Tennessee", trimmed plans for the potential four-unit Bellefonte nuclear plant to one reactor.[7]

Recent developments[edit]

On August 20, 2010 the TVA Board of Directors authorized $248 million to continue development of the Bellefonte Unit 1.[8] On August 18, 2011, the TVA board of directors voted to move forward with the construction of the unit one reactor at Bellefonte.[2]

But as of March 2012, many contractors have been laid off and the ultimate cost and timing for Bellefonte 1 will depend on work at another reactor TVA is completing - Watts Bar 2 in Tennessee. In December 2012, TVA said the Watts Bar 2 project is on schedule to finish in December 2015.[9]

TVA again announced staffing cuts at the plant in June 2013, reducing staffing at the plant from 540 to approximately 140.[10][11]

In October, 2013, it was announced that former TVA Chairman Dennis Bottorff and financier Franklin L. Haney have drafted a proposal to finish the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant using private funds and federal tax credits.[12]

Reactor data[edit]

The Bellefonte Generating Station consist of two cancelled reactors, two additional are planned.

Reactor unit Reactor type Capacity Construction started Electricity grid connection Commercial operation Shutdown
Net Gross
Bellefonte-1[13] B&W-205 1235 MW 1263 MW 01.01.1974 Cancelled construction on 01.01.1988, but planned to resume construction
Bellefonte-2[14] B&W-205 1235 MW 1263 MW 01.01.1974 Cancelled construction on 01.01.1988
Bellefonte-3[15] AP1000 1117 MW 0 MW Cancelled plan
Bellefonte-4[16] AP1000 1117 MW 0 MW Cancelled plan


External links[edit]