In the past fiscal year, the restart of TVA’s oldest nuclear reactor at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant helped the utility save an estimated $800 million . . . The $1.8 billion restart of Browns Ferry Unit 1, originally forecast to pay for itself within eight years, should now end up paying for itself in 2 1/2 years because of the unexpected jump in the costs for other power generation.Kilgore told the TVA purchases 12% of the power it buys from outside producers. TVA plans to build 3 GWs of new gas fired generators, but power from a second Watts Bar nuclear unit which TVA is in the process of completing would be cheaper.
“Nuclear power is still very cost-effective,” Mr. Sansom said . . .
In addition to the Watts Bar Unit, TVA is has applied for a license to build two new reactors at its Bellefonte, Alabama site, and is considering finishing two more incomplete reactors located on the Belleforte site. Granted the rate of payback on the TVA Browns Ferry Unit 1, a Four reactor Bellfonte project could repay investment costs in a less than 10 years, with no rate increase for TVA customers. There are many considerations that would effect the actuall cost of a two or four reactor project, but there is now reason to believe that building new nuclear capacity will not greatly effect the price TVA customers pay for electricity.