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For first time ever, TVA looking to sell nuclear reactor

NORTH MISSISSIPPI — The Tennessee Valley Authority wants for the first time to put one of its nuclear reactors up for bids.

The utility plans to then lease and operate Watts Bar Unit 2 in Tennessee and use investors’ money to fund construction of a reactor the utility plans to start building in 2013 at the mothballed Bellefonte plant in Alabama.

Although a first for TVA, its executives say such lease-sale arrangements are not uncommon for utilities.

TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore said the utility would still control everything about operations and safety.

TVA also plans to sell its new John Sevier combined cycle gas plant to help pay the $4.8 billion cost of finishing the 37-year-old Bellefonte plant.

The lease-sale approach provides TVA money without adding to its debt.

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