The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

May 8, 2012

NRC to host public meeting on Browns Ferry oversight

— The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a public hearing this month to discuss the status of ongoing inspections at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant.

The increased oversight at the plant was the result of a “red,” or severe, inspection finding last year. The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, at the Calhoun Community College Aerospace Training Center at 6250 U.S. 31 in Tanner.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the status of NRC inspection and oversight of TVA’s performance improvement plan and related activities associated with the red finding.

The meeting will include members of the NRC supplemental inspection team and managers from the NRC’s Region II office in Atlanta. After TVA’s presentation, NRC staff will be available to answer questions from the public.

The red finding was issued in May 2011 because of the failure of a low-pressure coolant injection valve at the plant the previous fall. That valve is part of a system that would be used for core cooling during certain accident scenarios and its inoperable state could have led to core damage had a series of unlikely events occurred. The valve was promptly repaired.

Under the NRC’s oversight process, a red finding has “high safety significance” and results in increased inspection and oversight of the facility.

The increased oversight at Browns Ferry includes a broad set of supplemental inspections to evaluate safety, organizational and programmatic issues at the plant. The inspections represent a far more extensive review of programs and processes than those conducted as part of the NRC’s baseline inspection program. The facility’s safety culture is also being assessed.

Members of the public interested in participating by telephone should contact the NRC's Eugene Guthrie before the meeting at 404-997-4662 or eugene.guthrie@nrc.gov .

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