Photo: Eric Schultz/Associated Press
The Tennessee Valley Authority’s never-completed Bellefonte nuclear plant in Hollywood, Ala.
August 18, 2011
By MATTHEW L. WALD
New York Times
The directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority unanimously approved a plan on Thursday to finish the partly built Bellefonte 1 nuclear reactor, a project on which the authority spent billions of dollars in the 1970s and ’80s but dropped in 1988 because of cost overruns and declining estimates of power demand.
The revived reactor, in Hollywood, Ala., is not expected to be completed before 2018 to 2020 — or about a half-century after the project was first announced, and following nearly a quarter-century of limbo.
"The T.V.A, has wrestled with the fate of Bellefonte since 1988," said Marilyn A. Brown, a board member who is a professor of energy policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Public Policy. The decision comes at a time when other countries, Germany and Switzerland, for example, are leaning away from nuclear power and closing older plants, after the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor complex in Japan in March.
The long-anticipated "nuclear renaissance" in the United States appears to have stalled as well, with only four reactors currently being built, two in Georgia and two in South Carolina.