The Tennessee Valley Authority has been given the go-ahead to increase power generation efforts at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved TVA's request for a 14.3 percent increase in generating capacity for all three of Browns Ferry's reactors. The change will raise each reactor's maximum power level from 3,458 megawatts thermal to 3,952 megawatts thermal. It represents a gross output increase of approximately 155 megawatts electric for each unit.

TVA plans to implement the extended power uprate during the spring 2018 refueling outage for Unit 3, during the fall 2018 refueling outage for Unit 1 and during the spring 2019 refueling outage for Unit 2, according to a press released issued by the NRC.

The release said the NRC had determined TVA could safely increase the reactors’ output by upgrading certain systems and components. It also said NRC staff had reviewed TVA's evaluations, “showing the plant’s design can handle” the additional power demands.

“The NRC’s safety evaluation of the proposed uprate focused on areas such as the nuclear steam supply systems, instrumentation and control systems, and accident evaluations,” the release said. “For added confidence in the analysis, the NRC staff also conducted independent confirmatory calculations and audits of selected areas.”

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