Cost of new nuclear plant could top all current

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A published report says the cost of building the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant could be more than the Tennessee Valley Authority spent to build all three of its current nuclear generating stations.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press said that information was contained in a recent filing the federal utility made to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

TVA President Tom Kilgore said Thursday that building the plant in northeastern Alabama would still be cost-effective for future power needs.

The estimate to complete the twin-reactor plant is now between $9.8 billion and $17.5 billion, depending upon what model of reactor is chosen.

TVA's Watts Bar Unit 1 near Spring City, Tenn., was the last nuclear power generator completed by a U.S. utility. It cost nearly $7 billion in 1996.

The other two plants, Sequoyah and Browns Ferry, were completed in the 1970s at far less cost.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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