Tennessee Valley Authority

Tennessee Valley Authority engineers say water temperature tests being performed on Wheeler Lake this week could improve efficiency at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant and keep power rates from increasing. 

The Decatur Daily reports that a team of TVA engineers is collecting water temperature and velocity information from the lake to use in computer forecasting models, which can help run TVA's dams and nuclear plants more efficiently.

The Alabama legislative session is over. Lawmakers have returned home, but some say very little was accomplished. APR’s MacKenzie Bates talks to one legislator who says there is still a lot work to do.

Lawmakers ended the session without agreeing a on a variety of issues like Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's prison construction proposal, how the state should spend the BP settlement from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the lack of money to fund the state’s Medicaid program.

A coalition of environmental activists is sounding the alarm about a plan the Tennessee Valley Authority is considering for storing its coal ash.

The TVA is closing down existing coal ash pond storage facilities at 10 power plants.

A solar panel park large enough to power 50 homes a day is being built in Alabama. APR’s Stan Ingold reports it is being built by a private company that will sell the electricity generated at the site to Tennessee Valley Authority.

Spokesman Steven Pitts for contractor ACE LLC Solar tells The Decatur Daily that the Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based PJ Kraft Enterprises is developing the $690,000 solar energy-producing system. They are using nearly an acre of land in Elkmont, Ala. PJ Kraft is a company that invests in renewable energy projects.

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Members of the University of Alabama's Office of Archaeological Research are in the middle of a project to rehabilitate a collection of tens of thousands of artifacts first gathered in Alabama during the 1930s and 1940s.

The work began in February. It’s a collaborative effort between the Tennessee Valley Authority, which owns the collection, and the university, which is curating it and creating a comprehensive database for the government-owned power company.

Tennessee Valley Authority

A state agency director says the Tennessee Valley Authority employees slated for layoffs in Alabama will receive the same services as workers laid off by private industries.

The director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Jim Byard, says that once a closing date is known for TVA's six coal-fired generating units, the state will help laid-off workers with a variety of services. They include applying for unemployment insurance, getting job referrals, preparing resumes and securing money for job retraining.

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The nation's largest public utility has voted to close six coal-powered units in Alabama and replace two more in Kentucky with a new natural gas plant.

At a Thursday meeting, Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson said increasingly stringent environmental regulations and flat power demand have made it necessary to rethink how the utility generates power.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell met with Johnson last month to seek continued operation of the coal-burning Paradise Fossil Plant in Drakesboro, Ky. One coal-fired unit will remain there.

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The Tennessee Valley Authority is seeking volunteers to participate in National Public Lands Day on Saturday.

   TVA says it is sponsoring volunteer activities around the Tennessee Valley, including a guided bird walk on the Muscle Shoals Reservation and clean-up and sign installation on Guntersville Reservoir, both in Alabama.

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.

tva.com / Tennessee Valley Authority

A Tennessee Valley Authority engineer and federal regulators have warned the largest nuclear plant in Alabama has been operating without a fully functioning failsafe system.

The engineer and regulators have warned problems at Browns Ferry reported by regulators have included that a cooling pump didn't work and cooling lines sat blocked and unnoticed for years.

A TVA engineer, Joni Johnson, says mechanical and managerial shortcomings at the nuclear plant on the Tennessee River in Limestone County could have led to a meltdown.

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A Tennessee Valley Authority spokesman says it's too early to know when a proposed wind turbine farm atop Lookout Mountain could get the final go-ahead from TVA officials.

The Post reports (http://bit.ly/RBVL7u) that Texas-based Pioneer Green Energy hopes to build 8 to 10 of the turbines near Leesburg within the next 14 to 18 months.

TVA Renewable Energy Projects Manager Ed Stevens says that officials with the agency are reviewing data about the project.

tva.com / Tennessee Valley Authority

The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to add around 100 jobs at its Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in the next year. The plan, announced Wednesday, is part of an effort to improve performance and safety. TVA chief nuclear officer Preston Swafford says officials will probably start the hiring process in a couple of months. Keith Polson, Browns Ferry site vice president, says the new jobs will involve various specialties such as engineering, maintenance, radiation protection, chemistry, work control and emergency planning.

tva.com / Tennesee Valley Authority

Motorists in northwest Alabama might have to find a new way to get around Florence for a few days.

The Tennessee Valley Authority says it's closing the Alabama 133 bridge across Wilson Dam for maintenance work starting Monday morning.

The bridge will be closed until Friday afternoon, or whenever the work is completed.

TVA says closing the bridge allows for a crane to be set up for work on the spillway gate at Wilson Dam.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. 

tva.com / Tennessee Valley Authority

Federal regulators have issued a violation to the Tennessee Valley Authority after an inspection at its Browns Ferry nuclear power plant in northern Alabama. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a statement that its staff will increase oversight at the facility. The agency said the "white" finding for all three of the facility's units comes after NRC inspectors found that plant operators and employees were unable to adequately perform newly implemented procedures for a safe plant shutdown. The NRC said it determined that workers were not adequately trained on the new procedures.