Watts Bar nuclear power plant shooter remains at large

The gunman from the weekend shootout on the grounds of the Watts Bar nuclear power plant remains at large as of Tuesday. No suspects have been named as the FBI, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and local authorities continue the investigation.

On April 21 just after 2 a.m. staff at the Watts Bar nuclear power plant notified the NRC of an event where gunshots were fired involving a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) security officer.  The officer involved was not injured and there is currently no evidence of injury to the shooter.

There were no interruptions to service at the power plant.

New details have emerged with statements from TVA spokesman Jim Hopson to several news outlets. According to Hopson, a security guard spotted the gunman attempting to enter the facility through a concrete boat ramp on the bank of the Tennessee River. When confronted the unidentified man opened fire exchanging several rounds with the officer before fleeing.

Although there have been reports of the shooter fleeing by boat, Hopson clarified investigators have yet to verify how the person accessed the area or escaped.  He also noted the nuclear plant was already on heightened alert before the incident because of the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon.

The Watts Bar nuclear power plant is located on 1,700 acres on the northern end of Chickamauga Reservoir. Unit 1 has an output of 1,100 megawatts (MW), enough to serve 650,000 homes. Unit 2 is currently under development and is also slated for a 1,100 MW capacity.

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