TVA approves nucear power plant

Aug. 20, 2011 at 9:24 AM
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Regional power regulators have granted permission for completion of a nuclear power plant in northern Alabama that was begun 37 years ago.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which does not have final say on the project, gave its green light for completion of the $4.9 billion Bellefonte project near Scottsboro, Ala., which was halted in 1988 due to a decline in demand for power in the region, CNN reported Saturday.

Completing the plant is expected to create 2,800 construction jobs and 650 jobs at the facility to keep it operational. Final say falls to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which could take months to make a decision.

If completed, the nuclear plant, which is 55 percent built, is expected to provide power for about 750,000 homes.

TVA President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Kilgore said the TVA board had considered the latest nuclear power plant disaster, the partial meltdown of the Fukushima plant in Japan, which was devastated by the tsunami that followed an massive earthquake on March 11.

"As we build Bellefonte we will integrate safety modifications from the extensive review of the lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear plants in Japan," Kilgore said in a statement.

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