TVA cited by Nuclear Regulatory Commission for flood prevention

TVA cited by Nuclear Regulatory Commission for flood prevention issues

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CHATTANOOGA (WATE) - The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) received a letter from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) detailing multiple violations regarding flooding safety at the Sequoyah and Watts Bar nuclear plants.

The issue stems from new flooding assessments that took place when TVA was assessing the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant.

They found that their estimates for the highest flooding levels during extreme events were outdated and higher than previously thought due to weather changes and other factors.

As a result, the TVA worked with the NRC to adapt safety measures at existing plants to account for the discrepancy.

But following a February inspection, the NRC sent letters to TVA about six violations related to flooding issues.

The violations were rated by a color code system where red is the highest threat, following by yellow, then white and at the lowest level, green.

One violation, labeled a level yellow threat, found that temporary barriers at earthen dams upstream from the Sequoyah plant could be overtopped, flooding the facilities.

Another violation found that the 27-hour safety plan TVA had in place at Watts Bar actually took longer to implement when tested in a trial run.

The NRC said it would issue a final determination about the violations in 90 days.

TVA Spokesman Travis Brickey told 6 News they were working with the NRC to address the concerns and emphasized that the violations related to safety and preparation for an extreme flooding event that would be extremely rare for the area.

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