The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 4, 2012

NRC meeting to address safety findings at nuke plant


From staff reports

— A meeting next month will address the completion of three inspections at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant following a white inspection finding and two white performance indicators.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Calhoun Community College’s Aerospace Training Center.

One inspection was related to a white (low-to-moderate safety risk) finding issued in response to plant operators not being aware of new safe shutdown procedures. The two other inspections looked at the response to a white performance indicator caused by Unit 1’s high-pressure injection system being out of service more than expected and a white performance indicator related to unplanned shutdowns on Unit 3.

“These supplemental inspections were conducted to assure that the causes of the issues were understood, that the extent of condition was identified, and to ensure TVA’s corrective actions were sufficient,” the NRC said in a press release.

In a statement, TVA said it believed the NRC’s inspections “went well” and demonstrated the utility’s “ongoing improvement in plant performance” at Browns Ferry.

“TVA recognizes it still has additional work to do to prepare for an additional supplemental inspection associated with a NRC red finding,” the statement said. “TVA is committed to sustained operational excellence across all its nuclear plants and especially at Browns Ferry.”

Though the main purpose of the Dec. 5 meeting is to discuss TVA’s performance and response to the findings, NRC officials also plan to discuss the current status of the ongoing supplemental inspections for a red, or significant, finding issued in 2011. That finding was issued after a coolant injection valve in a backup fire protection system failed in fall 2010.