Browns Ferry: Improving, But Increased Oversight Continues

Two members of the inspection team that reviewed operations at the Browns Ferry nuclear power plant take a closer look at plant equipment.
Two members of the inspection team that reviewed operations at the Browns Ferry nuclear power plant take a closer look at plant equipment.
Roger Hannah
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Region II
 

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.

Author: Moderator

Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

2 thoughts on “Browns Ferry: Improving, But Increased Oversight Continues”

  1. Fort Calhoun has been shut down since April 9, 2011, for a refueling outage. The outage was extended due to historic flooding along the Missouri River followed by an electrical fire that led to an “Alert” declaration (red finding) and further restart complications.There is a special Fort Calhoun website at http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/reactor/fcs/special-oversight.html dedicated to the ongoing inspection activities and oversight at the plant. You can also read the history here if you’d like more details: https://public-blog.nrc-gateway.gov/?s=Fort+Calhoun .

    Lara Uselding

  2. Why is Browns Ferry operating (under the CAL) but Fort Calhoun is not? Fort Calhoun did not go Red.

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