Tennessee Valley Authority Gets Safe, Precise, Productive Work from SSMRC Crews

The Southern States Millwrights continue to provide their signature safe, precise and productive work for contractors hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority for work on hydro, steam, and nuclear plant turbines as well as outages. For about the last eight years, Southern millwrights have specifically excelled at the TVA’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant, helping to turn a construction site into an operating plant while also achieving zero reportable safety incidents.

The Watts Bar Unit 2 is a $4.4 billion federal refurbishment project. Southern Millwrights from Local 1554 in Tennessee and 1192 in Alabama so far have logged about 200,000 man-hours under contractors Bechtel and Williams Plant Services. Some of those millwrights work with the project’s Start Up Group, where they help to train machinists regarding fine-tuning pump alignments, polar crane refurbishment, and setting and calibrating motor-operated valve actuators.

“The Millwrights’ performance in the Watts Bar Unit 2 Start Up Group was very good. They were dependable and could be counted on to perform any task given to them in a professional manner,” said Thomas E. Carson, Jr., Nuclear Projects Director for the TVA.

“The main scope of their work was on pump refurbishments, where many unforeseen challenges were discovered, ranging from internal damage to obsolete parts. Despite these issues all of the work was completed before the pumps were needed to perform their tests. Overall I was satisfied with their performance,” Carson added.  

SSMRC millwrights are known for their elite training, which expertly prepares apprentices and journeymen alike for any project. For the Watts Bar project, Southern Millwrights completed specialized training in radiation, motorized operated valve actuators, and nuclear general employment. 

Safety is a critical component of training, and the SSMRC ensures the knowledge level is maximized for confined space, disaster response, fall protection, MSDS, OSHA 10 and OSHA 30, ergonomics, blood-borne pathogens, first aid, CPR, and automated external defibrillation.

“Our professionals are meeting and exceeding their goal to work in cooperation with TVA and the other building trades to finish this project safely and with the quality that our customer expects,” said SSMRC’s Executive Secretary-Treasurer Wayne Jennings.

In the photo, Chad Snow, Edwin Miller, Sam Everhart, Billy Smithwick, and Jamie Donald install a motorized valve operator. This is considered to be a complexed lift while rigging it into place. The weight of the machinery is about 2,300 pounds.

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