NRC to increase oversight at Browns Ferry nuclear power plant

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a “white” finding of low to moderate significance to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for units 2 and 3 at the 3,440 MW Browns Ferry nuclear power plant in Alabama.

NRC inspectors found that plant operators and staff would not have been able to satisfactorily perform newly implemented procedures for safe plant shutdown and were not adequately trained on the new procedures.

The issue was discussed at a regulatory conference on July 25 where TVA provided documentation on their analysis and corrective actions.

Unit 1 is already under increased NRC oversight due to a “red,” or high safety significance, finding in 2010 for the unit. The finding came after a low pressure coolant injection valve failed to open when operators attempted to use the residual heat removal shutdown cooling loop during refueling. The system is counted on for core cooling during certain accident scenarios, and TVA determined the last time the valve worked was when it was placed in service in March 2009.

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