August 8, 2011

New Report Establishes That TVA’s Bellefonte Nuclear Reactor Faces Unprecedented Hurdles to Completion

Analysis Will Detail Seven Major Factors Making Completion Costly, Unlikely and Dangerous

August 9, 2011 News Advisory

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A major new report from the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) about the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) controversial plan to resume work on the long-shuttered Bellefonte nuclear reactor Unit 1 near Hollywood, Alabama will be released during a live phone-based news conference on August 9, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. EDT. The report provides seven major factors why the project should not go forward and concludes that TVA's attempt to complete Bellefonte represents an extremely costly and dangerous proposal.

The SACE report includes technical analysis by Arnold Gundersen, Chief Engineer of Fairewinds Associates, who is a nuclear engineer with more than 39 years of industry experience. The report provides seven major factors identified by Mr. Gundersen that pose significant cost and scheduling risks to the completion of the project. These seven major factors include: a nearly 40-year-old nuclear reactor design that has never operated in the U.S.; possibly the biggest threat of water damage to the reactor at Bellefonte's Unit 1 of any reactor nationwide due to the aging foundation; and substantial containment vessel damage that could raise Fukushima-like safety concerns and stand in the way of completing the Bellefonte reactor. Currently, TVA still maintains publicly that Bellefonte reactor Unit 1 could be operational by 2018 if all construction timetables are met. This new report from SACE and Fairewinds' expert analysis shows that this schedule is highly optimistic and puts billions of ratepayer dollars at risk due to the likelihood of project failure.

Speaking at the news conference will be:

  • Stephen Smith, executive director, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
  • Report author Arnold Gundersen, a nuclear engineer and energy adviser at Fairewinds Associates, Inc.

TO PARTICIPATE: You can join this live, phone-based news conference (with full, two-way Q&A) at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday (August 9, 2011) by dialing 1 (866) 524-3160. Ask for the "Bellefonte restart failure" news event.

CAN'T PARTICIPATE: A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available on the Web at as of 5 p.m. EDT on August 9, 2011.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Founded in 1985, SACE is the only regional organization primarily focused on developing clean energy solutions throughout the Southeast. For more information, see

SOURCE Southern Alliance for Clean Energy