In testimony to the TVA Board of Directors in August 2011, PACE expressed its support for the completion of Bellefonte Nuclear Plant, an important project in Jackson County, Alabama, that will add reliable capacity for customers in the TVA service territory. Yesterday, PACE led a delegation to the plant to check in on the project’s progress and to discuss new developments at the site.
Original construction on the plant began in 1974, but was delayed by multiple factors, eventually leading to the plant being essentially mothballed for decades. With the TVA Board’s recent approval to move forward with completion of the plant, however, Bellefonte remains poised to add important capacity to the Tennessee Valley. Once the project is complete, which plant officials predict will occur in the 2020 time frame, Bellefonte Unit 1 will produce 1,260 megawatts. It will be one of the first nuclear units in the world to incorporate lessons learned from the Fukushima incident in Japan.
“I continue to be excited about the benefits that Bellefonte Nuclear Plant will offer to power consumers in the way of reliable and low-cost power,” explains PACE Executive Director Lance Brown. “Our visit yesterday confirmed that this project, once complete, will be a culmination of everything our nation has learned about how to operate nuclear power safely and responsibly and to the benefit of end users.”
Plant officials described the way that lessons learned from Fukushima have led to additional safeguards at the plant, including ensuring that independent on-site power exists should the flow of electricity to the plant be interrupted during a disaster. These plans are being closely reviewed by regulators with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“We take this opportunity to specifically voice our support for the completion of the Bellefonte plant, as this investment will provide reliable energy at a fair price for consumers,” PACE told the TVA Board in August 2011. “Major industrial consumers across the TVA service area, from steel producers to automotive manufacturers, are counting on their service provider to ensure the flow of electricity at a competitive price. So are families who simply wish for their lights to work at a price they can pay. In short, there are millions of people counting on you to get it right.”
PACE has expressed consistently that nuclear power must remain a vital part of the U.S. electricity portfolio, in balance with sources such as coal and natural gas that provide the vast majority of today’s power.