Bellefonte Nuclear Modernization: Safer, Stronger, Sustainable Clean Energy


Image source: TVA

As we announced yesterday, AREVA will be a key member of the contract partners helping TVA complete the Bellefonte nuclear facility, one of our largest U.S. projects, employing thousands of Americans.

In easily understood terms, the completion of the Bellefonte Unit 1 nuclear facility is similar to the complete restoration and modernization of a solidly built house, only this improvement project will generate 2,800 construction jobs, 650 permanent operations jobs, and clean energy electricity for 750,000 American homes.

The external structure itself is robust, with each reactor building’s 3.5-foot-thick reinforced concrete containment wall lined with quarter-inch-thick steel plates, then surrounded by an additional containment building of 18-inch-thick reinforced concrete walls. Along with the cooling towers and other infrastructure already in place, these valuable existing assets worth around $2 billion provide a firm foundation to house the planned modern and refurbished components.

Some of largest investments in installing up-to-date equipment for this project are the appliances and electrical systems, including efficient steam generator components, pump motors, and digital control systems. As the global leader in nuclear facility engineering and components, AREVA will provide the engineering design of 
Unit 1’s nuclear systems, state-of-the-art digital instrumentation and control (I&C) system, and modern control room.

Along with the advanced digital I&C system and control room, other safety features will also receive an upgrade. TVA details the vision for the completed project on its Bellefonte website,

When completed, the facility will be among the safest, most advanced nuclear units in the nation. It will meet or exceed current regulatory standards for natural disasters, including tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. And it will incorporate lessons learned from the earthquake and tsunami at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, including all regulatory requirements and industry recommendations resulting from that event.

With upgrades, modernization and equipment replacements, Bellefonte Unit 1 will be virtually new and capable of meeting the region’s power needs for decades.

The Bellefonte 1,260-megawatt reactor is expected to come online between 2018 and 2020, but you can explore it now and hear about the project on a Bellefonte virtual tour with TVA’s Chief Operating Officer Bill McCollum.

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