The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in the US is preparing to sell off an unfinished nuclear power plant in northeast Alabama.

The authority set a minimum bid of $36.4m for the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant and 1,600 acres along the Tennessee River near Hollywood, Ala.

The site includes two partially built Babcock & Wilcox Pressurised Water Nuclear Reactor, two high voltage switchyards and number of offices and support buildings.

Work on the nuclear plant began in mid-70s in the backdrop of nuclear energy boom in US. T

It was halted till 1988, followed by a series of starts and stops until TVA decided to sell the plant.

TVA said that the bidding is open for all and one of the main qualifications in the bidding is the demonstration of financial capabilities.

TVA declared the property as surplus and authorised its sale in May this year, after taking inputs from public officials, customers and local residents.

One of the major objectives of TVA is to provide long-term economic return to the surrounding communities and to the local residents.

There have also been drastic changes in the economic landscape and the need for electricity in the valley. It also says that such a large-base load is not needed at present. And putting the property for sale can allow future owners to provide maximum long-term economic value.

TVA has appointed Concentric Energy Advisors to act as the financial advisor and the auction manager for the sale.

TVA also said that it is not particular about what the buyer will do with the site. It said that it is fine with the buyer converting the nuclear plant into a renewable energy production, using it for industrial manufacturing, recreation and even for residential purposes. And the TVA plans to complete the deal by October end.

The auction would take place in two stages. Qualified bidders will be given the opportunity to conduct due diligence and tour the property during the indicative or initial bid phase.

After this phase, minimum bid terms and qualifications will be set and during this stage, opportunity for more due diligence will be given. The second phase will be a public bidding, which will be conducted in October.

Image: The unfinished Bellfonte Nuclear Plant in Alabama has been under construction from mid 1970s. Photo: Courtesy of Tennessee Valley Authority.