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Last updated 2:06AM ET
February 26, 2021
Browns Ferry Unit One Restarts
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - The Unit 1 reactor at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant has been restarted after its automatic shutdown last week the fifth since June 2.

Workers at the Tennessee Valley Authority plant near Athens began returning the reactor to full power Wednesday.

The plant's Unit 2 and 3 reactors were both operating at 100 percent. Unit 1 automatically shut down Oct. 12 because of a turbine problem. A reactor creates heat, which is used to make steam to power turbines that create the electricity.

The problem last week centered on a monitor that looks at the moisture of the steam going into a turbine, said TVA spokesman Jason Huffine. The monitor failed, which in turn caused the turbine to fail, which caused the reactor to fail, he said. The monitor was fixed, Huffine said.

Unit 1 was restarted in May after a five-year, $1.8 billion project to repair and upgrade the reactor, which had been shut down with the other two in 1985 because of safety concerns. The Unit 2 and 3 reactors were returned to service in the 1990s after similar projects.

A leaky hydraulic system discovered Sept. 3 forced the fourth shutdown of the Unit 1 reactor since it was restarted June 2. Unit 1 was back near full power two days later.

The three previous shutdowns one of which involved another hydraulic leak also resulted in brief outages of Unit 1.

After the latest shutdown, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which has resident inspectors at the plant, said it will conduct additional inspections at Browns Ferry.

"We're definitely going to be working with the NRC if they come back and do any other inspections," he said. "We're going to make sure that we're operating at high quality standards that TVA is known for with nuclear reactors," Huffine said.


Information from: The Birmingham News

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