Nuclear Safety
5:10 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

NRC Says TVA N. Alabama Nuclear Plant Still Needs Improvement

An in-depth government inspection shows the Tennessee Valley Authority's Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Alabama is safe to operate but still requires improvement.
Credit tva.com / Tennessee Valley Authority

An in-depth government inspection shows the Tennessee Valley Authority's Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Alabama is safe to operate but still requires improvement.

Officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission are presenting their initial findings Thursday from a review triggered by a serious violation issued in 2011.

Federal regulators issued a serious safety violation against the plant after deciding the failure of a valve could have left an emergency cooling system unusable during a crisis, particularly a fire. The breakdown did not result in any problems at the plant before it was fixed.

The NRC was particularly concerned because workers failed to identify the breakdown for months. The commission blamed poor workplace habits.

NRC Branch Chief Eugene Guthrie says that performance has improved, but that the plant must make continual improvement.