published Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Browns Ferry nuclear plant inspection nearing end

Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Athens, Ala., is shown from above.
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Athens, Ala., is shown from above.
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Federal officials are approaching the end of an in-depth inspection at a nuclear plant in Alabama.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2011 cited the Unit 1 reactor at the Browns Ferry nuclear plant near Athens, Ala., for a serious, or red-level, violation.

NRC officials said a valve was stuck shut on an emergency cooling system that could have been called into service in case of a fire at the plant. The failure did not cause any immediate problems for the facility.

Afterward, the NRC ordered an extensive inspection of all operations of the plant, including its safety culture.

A 23-person NRC team is now at the plant. The team’s leader, Bill Jones, says final results of the inspection will be released at a meeting in June.

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