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NRC upholds decision on TVA nuclear plant

NORTH ALABAMA — The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission upheld a finding of a serious safety violation that will require increased inspection activities at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry nuclear plant in North Alabama.

The NRC responded Aug. 16 to TVA’s appeal of an earlier NRC finding of a rare red level violation following the October 2010 discovery of a stuck residual heat removal system valve.

TVA nuclear spokesman Ray Golden said Aug. 17 that TVA has a violation response team working with the NRC.

Regulators have said TVA failed to quickly realize that an old valve on one of two residual heat removal systems on the Unit 1 reactor was stuck shut sometime after March 2009.

Golden said the NRC’s finding will mean a significant increase in inspection and oversight and TVA will have to pay the NRC’s costs. Golden said he could not give a cost estimate.

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