Group urges regulators to consider risks at Watts Bar

Watts Bar

Caption: TVA's Watts Bar, a nuclear power plant in southeastern Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - An environmental group wants federal regulators to withhold the licensing of a nuclear power plant along the Tennessee River unless the commission first takes into account flood and earthquake risks at the Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor in southeastern Tennessee.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has filed a response with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission saying that NRC staff has disregarded a report saying that earthquake risk is now greater than what the reactor was originally designed to withstand.

Officials with the Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates the plant, did not immediately comment on the group's concerns. TVA constructed a flex building at Watts Bar that is designed to withstand catastrophic events.

Watts Bar Unit 2 is supposed to go online at the end of this year but must be licensed first.

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