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TVA Phasing Out Some of Oldest Coal-Fired Power Plants

The Tennessee Valley Authority board is phasing out 300 to 400 jobs at its oldest coal-fired plants and will pay a $10 million penalty in a clean air agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, several states and environmental groups.

TVA chief executive Tom Kilgore said the agreement stems from long-running private negotiations.

Coal-unit shutdowns announced at a Thursday board meeting in Chattanooga start in 2012 and include two units at John Sevier Fossil Plant in East Tennessee, six units at Widows Creek Fossil Plant in north Alabama and all ten units at Johnsonville Fossil Plant in Middle Tennessee.

TVA executives said efforts will be made to provide other jobs. Kilgore said TVA cannot guarantee that every displaced employee will be offered a job at the same location.

The board also discussed its nuclear ambitions in the aftermath of the emergency in Japan, with a nuclear safety review as part of the agenda for Thursday's meeting.

TVA has decided to delay recommending a go-ahead on a reactor at its Bellefonte Nuclear Plant in northeast Alabama while the utility studies how to prevent anything like the radiation leak from Japan's tsunami-flooded nuclear plant.

TVA managers presented the utility's 20-year energy plan to the board. That plan recommends reducing the agency's reliance on coal-powered plants and pursuing new natural gas and nuclear capacity.

TVA also is considering programs to increase power generated from wind, solar and biomass while promoting conservation.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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