HOLLYWOOD, Alabama (WDEF) – November is ending without a deal to take the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant off the hands of TVA.
Two years ago, the group Nuclear Development (Led by Chattanooga developer Franklin Haney) purchased the abandoned TVA site for $111 million.
But they had a year to complete the financing and regulatory stipulations.
TVA announced today that Nuclear Development did not close the deal in time.
“On Nov. 30, 2018, the parties were unable to complete the sale of the Bellefonte property after Nuclear Development’s lack of progress in meeting its legal obligations related to future ownership of the site. Nuclear Development did not complete the necessary NRC license transfer prior to the closing date as required by the Atomic Energy Act.”
But Nuclear Development says that isn’t so.
They say they had the money.. TVA just refused to accept their bid in the end.
They say they were willing to extend the deadline, but TVA wasn’t.
The sticking point seems to have been Memphis Light, Gas & Water.
Nuclear Development has been trying to sign a deal with them to buy power from their new reactors to convince federal regulators that they were serious about completing the plants.
But the utility was putting them off until at least December.
Construction began at the plant site along the Tennessee River at the Tennessee/Alabama line 40 years ago.
The plan was for two units, and adding two more in the future.
But as regulation on the nuclear industry bogged down the process of firing up new reactors, TVA finally halted construction in 1988.
They spent more than $4 billion and only got one unit 50% complete and the other about a third finished.
TVA reconsidered completing the units again in 2009, but eventually decided to sell the assets instead to private concerns.
Nuclear Development hoped to be the first company to complete a new generation power plant in the U.S.
So while both sides could still work something out, it looks like TVA is going back to the drawing board.
“TVA declined to provide a contract extension beyond the nearly 25 months already provided due to Nuclear Development’s lack of diligence in completing these required activities. We remain committed to returning the Bellefonte property to productive use to benefit the residents of northeastern Alabama as soon as possible.”