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.
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.
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.
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.
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.