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July 16, 2013

NRC, TVA to meet over violation at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant

— Officials with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will meet next Wednesday with TVA officials to discuss a violation of low safety significance that occurred at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant late last year.

According to an NRC press release, plant operators failed to properly implement a plant operating procedure while restoring power to the Unit 2 reactor protection system. The apparent violation occurred on Dec. 22.

The failure caused the reactor to shut down and also caused the main steam isolation valves to close. The main steam isolation valves are designed to close in the unlikely event of a rupture in the plant’s steam pipes.

Even though the unit was safely shut down and there was no threat to workers or people living near the plant, the NRC has preliminarily determined that the finding is white, meaning it has low to moderate safety significance.

The NRC uses color-coded inspection finding to assess plant performance. The colors range from green, or very low safety significance, to white, yellow and red, which has the highest safety significance.

No decision on the final safety significance and any additional NRC actions will be made at the conference. That decision will be announced at a later time.

The NRC inspection report with more details on the apparent violation is available on the NRC website.

The conference will be held at 1 p.m. EST at the NRC's Region 2 offices, 245 Peachtree Center Ave., NE, Suite 1200, in Atlanta. The public is invited to attend, and NRC officials will answer questions from the public after the business portion of the conference is completed.

 

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