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TVA moves on six nuclear reactors for Roane

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By Cindy Simpson

TVA has signed a letter of intent for the creation of up to six small modular reactors at the TVA Clinch River Site in Roane County off North Hwy. 58.

A press release from the Babcock and Wilcox Co., majority owner of Generation mPower LLC, said “GmP remains on track to deploy the first B&W mPower reactor by 2020 at the Clinch River site.

The release said “TVA plans on submitting a construction permit application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2012, and GmP plans to submit a Design Certificate Application to the NRC in 2013.”

“We recognize the unique benefits that small modular reactor technology can present to the nuclear industry in the areas of economics and safety. Successful deployment of small reactor technology will increase the options available for clean, reliable and safe power generation,” said Bill McCollum, TVA’s chief operating officer.

TVA spokeswoman Barbara Martocci provided a small presentation about the project, including some of the major concerns that residents may have.

TVA officials are estimating that the construction of the reactors would take as many s 2,000 employees.

“Operation of a two-unit plant would require about 300 or so full-time employees,” the release said.

TVA officials responded to rumors it is pressuring the NRC to cut safety corners.

“TVA’s priority is safety for the public and employees. TVA and the nuclear utility industry are interested in making sure the regulations for nuclear plants are appropriate for small modular reactors,” the release said.