published Saturday, April 7th, 2012

TVA’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant notches record run

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    Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Vice-President Keith Polson discusses the equipment that controls movement of the fuel rods during a tour of the Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Athens, Ala.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ATHENS, Ala. — The Unit 3 reactor at TVA’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant will shut down for a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage after setting a plant record for continuous operation of all three reactors.

Unit 1 operated for 114 days, Unit 2 for 302 days and Unit 3 for 188 days. Spokesman Ray Golden said 114 days is three days longer than Browns Ferry’s previous best of 111 days, set in 2011.

Browns Ferry Site Vice President Keith Polson said these records are an important indicator of the plant’s overall health and the quality and safety of the operation.

“A nuclear plant is running optimally when all the equipment is in top performance and there is no need for unplanned maintenance and repairs,” Polson said in a prepared statement.

Unit 3 will be taken offline shortly after midnight today for maintenance and fuel reloading.

The unit 1 reactor of the plant near Athens, Ala., remains under a “red” safety flag from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission — only the fifth such red rating ever issued by NRC.

NRC codes include green for no problems, white, yellow and red — the most serious safety flag. NRC steps up oversight with each escalating rating.

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