The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

August 2, 2012

NRC schedules public meeting on Browns Ferry inspections

— The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has scheduled a public meeting near the Browns Ferry nuclear power plant to discuss the status of NRC supplemental inspections being performed as a result of a “red” inspection finding at the Tennessee Valley Authority facility.

The meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9, at the Calhoun Community College Aerospace Training Center, at 6250 Highway 31 North in Tanner.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the status of TVA’s preparations for the third phase of the NRC’s supplemental inspections of the plant associated with the red finding.

The meeting will include NRC inspectors as well as managers from the NRC’s Region II office in Atlanta. After the business portion of the agenda, 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 NRC inspection and oversight of the facility.

The increased NRC 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


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