NUCLEAR forum: Brown's Ferry PP in Alabama inspection 5/2011After 13 years online, Cubits.org is scheduled to be shut down. Please make sure you have the contact information for all your friends, and that you download whatever content you want from this site.
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| Pic from The Pulse, Gary Poole article 2010
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant is on the north shore of Wheeler Reservoir in north Alabama. It was TVAâ€™s first nuclear power plant, and the largest in the world when it began operation in 1974. It was the first nuclear plant in the world to generate more than 1 billion watts of power.
Thunderstorms in April caused the loss of power at the Brownâ€™s Ferry Nuclear Power Plant. â€œThe U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a rare red finding against the Browns Ferry nuclear power plant near Athens, Ala., after it investigated how a valve on a residual heat removal system became stuck shut. Safety regulators said only five red findings â€” the most severe ranking the agency gives to problems uncovered in its inspections â€” have been issued nationwide in the past decade.â€
WALL STREET JOURNAL , May 3, 2011
NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--The Tennessee Valley Authority said Tuesday it has restored power and lifted the emergency alert for its Alabama nuclear facility that was cut off last week when storms damaged transmission lines.
The "notification of unusual event" for the three Browns Ferry nuclear power reactors, which supply 10% of the power generated by the government-owned utility, was lifted Monday at around 8:50 p.m. CDT. It is the lowest level of four levels of emergency alerts at a nuclear plant, TVA said.
"The plant was designed to withstand weather conditions far more severe than those that occurred last week," TVA Chief Operating Officer Bill McCollum said in a statement.
Scrutiny of nuclear plants has heightened after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that triggered a nuclear crisis in Japan. U.S. regulators have been conducting inspections to analyze the ability of U.S. nuclear plants to withstand natural disasters.
TVA said that the Browns Ferry nuclear complex went into "safe shutdown mode" when a series of storms and tornadoes across northern Alabama caused partial loss of offsite power. Backup generators immediately kicked in and the event had no impact on the public or the company's employees. The Browns Ferry reactors remain offline while repairs are performed on the region's high-voltage transmission lines.
The Browns Ferry plant, located near Athens, Ala., was TVA's first nuclear plant. The non-profit power provider serves nine million customers and has 16,000 miles of transmission lines across seven southeastern states.
-By Naureen S. Malik, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-4210
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --Albert Einstein
~ All Things Plants, SOUTHWEST GARDENING ~Cubits.org ENERGY & POWER
|It's good to know that not all nuclear power plants "go Fukushima on you" when the backup power is lost.
What I know from designing other kinds of systems that interact with dangerous substances is that planning for contingencies like sticking valves can be painstakingly difficult. It's one reason people have advocated the use of a "standard design" for nuclear power plants in the US as France does.
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