The NRC issued two important documents this week that mark significant milestones in the agency’s oversight and inspection of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry plant in Alabama.
We sent a confirmatory action letter to TVA outlining a list of actions committed to by the utility and intended to ensure the continued improvement of the Browns Ferry nuclear plant.
After those actions are completed and we’ve inspected them, we’ll reevaluate our increased oversight of the plant. The additional oversight came after a red — or high safety significance — inspection finding in October 2010 related to the failure of a valve in Unit 1.
The NRC also issued a detailed inspection report, totaling more than 400 pages, which describes the findings of a 23-person inspection team that looked at all aspects of the Browns Ferry plant’s operations. The team included inspectors from three of the NRC’s four regional offices and headquarters, and had more than 250 years of combined NRC experience.
The NRC inspection team concluded the Browns Ferry plant is being operated safely and its overall performance has begun to improve, but the plant will remain under increased oversight as TVA continues with its improvement plan.
The letter to TVA and the inspection plan provide valuable information to plant management, people living near the plant and others that may be interested, but it’s not the end of the story. We will conduct follow up inspections to ensure the commitments outlined in the confirmatory action letter are met and the plant’s improvement plan is implemented successfully.