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TVA Says Browns Ferry Unit 1 Over Budget

By Associated Press

Athens AL – The Tennessee Valley Authority's annual report said the restart of the Unit 1 reactor at Browns Ferry nuclear plant cost about $90 million more than its original $1.8 billion budget.

The unit was restarted in May after being shut down in 1985 for safety reasons. The restart occurred after a five-year effort and was hailed by President Bush during an August visit to the plant in Athens for proving such a project could be completed on time and on budget.

In its fiscal 2007 annual report, TVA said the Browns Ferry overruns, totaling 5 percent of the project cost, were due in part to preparing the reactor for a power "uprate," so it can generate up to 20 percent more power than its current 1,155 megawatts, The Huntsville Times reported for a story Saturday.

Unit 1 has been off-line five times since it returned to operation and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently conducted an enhanced inspection, trying to understand the reason for the unplanned shutdowns. The NRC has not yet released the findings from that inspection.

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