TVA cited for violations at Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant

Updated: Nov. 1, 2016 at 10:16 PM CDT
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LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A Nuclear Regulatory Commission investigation has revealed two violations at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant in 2014.

In statements given to WAFF 48 News, the NRC and TVA agree that the violations did not pose any immediate risk to the public, workers or the plant. Both sides also agree that mistakes were made during an incident on Dec. 21, 2014.

The NRC investigation found that an operations shift manager at the Limestone County nuclear facility manipulated a shutdown board feeder breaker switch to rectify a situation, which is a violation of procedure. The second violation is for inaccurate information that the shift manager deliberately gave TVA officials as they reviewed the incident that went onto the plant's log. The shift manager gave accurate information about what happened the next day.

The NRC found that the action he took could have eventually caused the reactor to overheat, but the problem was fixed quickly.

Both violations are at the NRC's lowest severity level. TVA will not be fined.

TVA spokesman Jim Hopson gave the following written statement to WAFF 48 News:

TVA takes the safety of our nuclear facilities very seriously and holds our licensed nuclear operators to the highest standards.  While the issue discussed in the NRC letter did not affect the safety of the public, employees or plant equipment, we conducted a thorough investigation, shared our findings with the NRC and took the appropriate actions to ensure such an event would not occur again in the future.

The shift manager no longer works for TVA. Hopson would not say if the incident is the reason why he in not employed there anymore. He said the former employee no longer holds an NRC-issued nuclear operator license.

Click here to view the NRC report.

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