Alexander: TVA Watts Bar Unit 2 is the Country’s First New Nuclear Reactor of the 21st Century

Reactor will help bring clean, cheap energy and jobs to Tennessee

Posted on October 22, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 22 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision today to approve an operating license for Watts Bar Unit 2 at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar nuclear facility will bring cheap, clean, reliable energy and jobs to the Tennessee Valley.

“Watts Bar Unit 2 is the country’s first new reactor built in the 21st Century, and I am very pleased to see it is ready to go online. Soon, it will bring cheap, clean and reliable energy, as well as good-paying jobs, to the Tennessee Valley,” Alexander said.

Sen. Alexander, who leads the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, toured the Watts Bar facility in October, 2014.

In a February speech, Alexander said there are three reasons we would not want to see “a world without nuclear power”:

No. 1: The United States uses about 25 percent of all electricity in the world to power our industries, our computers, our homes and most everything else we depend upon.

No. 2: Our 99 nuclear reactors provide about 20 percent of that electricity. This is electricity that doesn’t turn on or off when the wind blows or the sun shines and is available more than 90 percent of the time. It is cheap and reliable and safe – we’ve never had anyone die in a nuclear accident at any of our commercial reactors or on our naval fleet.

No. 3: At a time when the world’s leading science academies and many Americans say climate change is a threat – and that humans are a significant cause of that threat – nuclear power provides more than 60 percent of our country’s carbon-free electricity.

In 2010, Alexander wrote a book containing five major addresses he had given on nuclear power called Going to War in Sailboats: Why Nuclear Power Beats Windmills for Americas Green Energy Future.

# # #

For access to this release and the senator’s other statements, click here.

To stay up-to-date on the senator’s latest actions, follow him on Twitter and YouTube.