Discussion: Unfinished Nuclear Power Plant Sold For $111 Million

The Wikipedia article is pretty instructive on this, worth a read:

About 50 miles due East if Huntsville, ~50 miles SouthWest of Chattanooga, and ~150 miles NorthWest of Atlanta. Since it’s about to be edited & updated, gonna past some of the interesting text here:

[quote=“Wikipedia 2016-11-14”]Reactor Unit 1 construction was estimated at 88% complete (mechanical - nuclear island) and Unit 2 construction was estimated 58% complete (mechanical - nuclear island) when TVA’s Board suspended the project; and the plants’ construction in 1988, after a combined $6 billion investment. Subsequent asset recovery activities (i.e., the removal (without ordering or planning for replacement), of useable equipment and systems to other TVA power plant sites), along with more recent (2000s) inspections of the operable state of remaining equipment, resulted in BLN 1&2 now being considered approximately 55 percent and 35 percent complete (mechanical - nuclear island only) respectively. This in essence rated the only completed work effective from the 2000s, as being the exterior reinforced concrete nuclear island facility structures; e.g., cooling towers, containment buildings, generator halls, cooling water bays and sumps, and switchyard foundations.

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.

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In 2015 TVA determined that it would be unlikely to need a large plant like Bellefonte for the next 20 years, and in May 2016 elected to declare the plant surplus, and sell the 1,600 acre site at auction for a minimum price of $36.4 million.

On October 14, 2016, TVA directors declared the unfinished nuclear plant to be surplus property and set a November 14, 2016 auction date to sell the unfinished plant and property.[/quote]

The nearby region is due for a magnitude 7.0-8.0+ earthquake. In fact, it’s probably overdue. The New Madrid Fault is close enough to shake that region severely. The shaking is not entirely related to just magnitude; due to the fact that it’s interior continental crust, even a 5.5 or a 6.0 can shake the ground with intense vibrations at great distance … such as Boston and Washington DC.

With other construction this is a serious concern. With a 1970s-era design and infrastructure for a nuclear plant … sure hope tRump and his sycophants ensure building codes are rigorously adhered to. A quake 50 or 70 years from now, or even 150, could split a facility like that wide open.

But, aggressive deregulation will make America glow again. Which is a great thing. Bigly.

Anyway. I’m not opposed to some form of nuclear power development. I am opposed to doing it stupid, and only the most modern designs should even be considered. Given the location and regional politics, lack of environmental concern, and the intense deregulatory political environment that just made a clean sweep of Washington, I have some pretty grave concerns.

Most liability for nuclear operators is about 20 years … these guys can make an intense clusterfuck of the situation and walk away with full bank accounts while stiffing American tax payers for anything that happens afterward. It’s a good idea to pay attention to this carefully and remain engaged with Congress.