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TVA delays startup of second nuclear reactor

NORTH MISSISSIPPI — The Tennessee Valley Authority has delayed the startup of its second reactor at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant from late 2012 to 2013.

The change is included in a TVA statement yesterday that announced the Oct. 1 retirement of TVA Nuclear Generation Development and Construction senior vice president Ashok Bhatnagar. The statement said COO Bill McCollum has named Sequoyah Nuclear Plant vice president Mike Skaggs to succeed Bhatnagar.

TVA said the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board is considering questions raised by environmentalists about additional heat that will be generated when the $2.5 billion, 1,200-megawatt Watts Bar Unit 2 starts operating. TVA nuclear spokesman Ray Golden also said TVA is taking into consideration lessons learned from the Fukushima emergency in Japan and construction has been slower than projected.

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