TVA Fined for Fire Violations at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant

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By Editors of Power Engineering

Federal regulators have fined the Tennessee Valley Authority for failing to maintain adequate fire watches at the Browns Ferry nuclear power plant.

An NRC investigation found that five contract workers failed to conduct roving fire watch patrols as required under federal regulations for the nuclear plant near Athens, Alabama, the Times Free Press reported.

Fire watch patrols were required as a compensatory measure for fire protection equipment that was out of service at the time.

Steve Bono, site director for Browns Ferry, said TVA accepts full responsibility for the violations and plans to pay the fine. The workers involved in the failure were dismissed, fire safety training and record keeping has been improved and fire systems at Browns Ferry have been upgraded.

A 1975 fire at Browns Ferry, sparked when a worker using a candle to search for air leaks set a cable seal on fire, is regarded as one of the worst nuclear plant fires in U.S. history. 

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