NRC Finds Flood Concerns at 2 Tennessee Valley Authority Nuclear Plants

March 21, 2013

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has found substantial safety issues at two Tennessee Valley Authority nuclear plants involving flooding risks.

The NRC found a total of six apparent violations at the Sequoyah and Watts Bar plants on the Tennessee River. In letters dated March 12, NRC said earthen dams upstream could have failed during a catastrophic flood, submerging the plants’ emergency generators and cutting off the power needed to prevent damage to the nuclear cores.

The NRC report said TVA recognized the problem in 2009 and has since protected the dams.

Spokeswoman Gail Rymer said Monday that TVA will continue to work with NRC to prepare for these “highly unlikely events.”

NRC has stepped up safety enforcement after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that crippled Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

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