Browns Ferry Reactor Shuts Down

Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 06:03 PM gHale

A reactor at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant shut down Tuesday because of a problem that occurred while it was returning to operation after refueling, federal regulators said.

Unit 3, which was coming back online after an outage, automatically shut down late Tuesday while at 35 percent power, said officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

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The problem occurred with a turbine, which generates electricity using steam produced from the reactor, said a NRC spokesman Roger Hannah.

“It was on the non-nuclear side of the plant,” Hannah said. Safety systems operated normally to shut down the reactor because of the problem, he said.

Workers replaced 288 fuel assemblies during the outage, and they also replaced and refurbished other parts of the reactor and its generating turbine.

The plant’s other two reactors continued operating at full power despite the shutdown. Browns Ferry is located on the Tennessee River near Athens in north Alabama.

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