US-based real estate and property development company Nuclear Development has entered into a contract to acquire the partially completed Bellefonte nuclear plant from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

The contract follows a period of offer requests for the site, which was deemed as surplus property by TVA's board of directors in September this year. TVA has also revealed plans to invest around $13bn for the completion of construction of the nuclear energy facility, which is expected to begin next year.

The project is expected to create nearly 4,000 temporary jobs throughout construction and 2,000 permanent jobs once in operation.

Nuclear Development's owner Franklin Haney said: "Today marks the first step of an exciting new journey for the people of Alabama and Tennessee.

"The Bellefonte Nuclear Station will help transform communities across the region."

"The Bellefonte Nuclear Station will help transform communities across the region, many of which have been hit hard by the forced closure of coal power plants over the last decade.

“This project will bring new life to the region by creating thousands of jobs while providing assured access to reliable, affordable, zero-emission energy."

Construction of the two nuclear units started in the mid-1970s but was suspended in 1988. Work on one of the reactors restarted in 2011, but the project was discontinued in 2014.

Currently, the Bellefonte site includes approximately 1,300 acres on Guntersville Reservoir, two 55% complete Babcock & Wilcox pressurised water nuclear reactors, two high-voltage switchyards, a significant amount of nuclear power station equipment, reinforced containment buildings, used fuel storage pools, and high-capacity cranes for fuel loading, unloading, and movement.

Upon completion, Bellefonte will feature advanced technology and security systems, which includes a digital instrumentation and control (I&C) system for the reactor, double-barrier safety barriers, and a control room simulator for training operations.