Browns Ferry cooling tower 3 damaged and out of service

A section of Browns Ferry cooling tower 3, one of seven at the plant, was discovered to be damaged yesterday, July 29, and the cooling tower was taken out of service.

The event had no impact on plant operations. The cooling towers perform no safety function for the plant. All three units continue to operate at 100 percent power. No employees were injured, and there were no environmental impacts or radiation releases associated with the event.

The cooling towers are located one-half mile from the three operating units. The six other cooling towers are operational. The NRC’s on-site resident inspectors were notified of the event. A root cause analysis is underway to determine why this happen and what repairs are necessary.

Cooling tower 3 is one of seven cooling towers used at Browns Ferry. Browns Ferry uses river water to condense steam after it is used to turn a turbine-generator to make electricity. The cooling towers are in the non-nuclear portion of the plant and help cool the water before it is released back to the river.