Inhofe Statement on NRC Issuing a New Operating License 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, delivered the following statement on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) issuance of an operating license to Watts Bar Unit 2 in Tennessee.  When Watts Bar 2 begins operating in coming months, it will be the first nuclear plant to do so in 20 years.

“NRC issuing an operating license to Watts Bar Unit 2 is an historic milestone for nuclear energy. Completing Watts Bar Unit 2 is a significant achievement for all the employees, contractors, and NRC inspectors who made it happen.  Watts Bar Unit 2 will make a positive contribution to our nation’s energy needs, and is in keeping with the industry’s record of safe, clean, affordable, and reliable electricity production.”

Operating license issuance reflects the successful completion of the operational readiness assessment inspection that took place this summer.  TVA will proceed to load fuel into the reactor and commence a series of tests which will culminate in full power operation sometime in the next several months.  The last U.S. nuclear plant to commence operations was its sister unit, Watts Bar 1, in 1996.