NRC names resident inspector for Watts Bar nuclear plant unit 2 construction activities

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials in Atlanta have selected Eric Patterson as a resident inspector for construction activities at Watts Bar Unit 2, located near Spring City, Tenn., about 60 miles southwest of Knoxville.

The plant is owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority and Watts Bar Unit 1 began operation at the site in 1996.

Patterson joined the NRC in June 2010 as a construction project and mechanical construction inspector. Before coming to the NRC, he was a project test manager, responsible for research and development system tests to support the start up of combined cycle power plant operations in the U.S. and Europe. Patterson also worked leading teams of engineers designing heating, ventilation and air conditioning, piping, and fire protection systems for an architectural and engineering firm in Jacksonville, Fla. He completed four years of active duty in the U.S. Navy and graduated from The Virginia Military Institute with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

“Eric Patterson has the experience and commitment to help ensure the remaining construction of Watts Bar Unit 2 is completed according to NRC regulations and in a way that protects people and the environment,” said NRC Region II Deputy Regional Administrator for Construction Fred Brown.

Patterson joins Senior Resident Inspector Tomy Nazario, Resident Inspector Russ Lewis and Acting Resident Inspector David Failla, who is serving a rotational assignment at Watts Bar.

Each operating U.S. commercial nuclear power plant site has at least two NRC resident inspectors. They serve as the agency’s eyes and ears at the facility, conducting regular inspections, monitoring significant work projects, and interacting with plant workers and the public. Inspectors can serve for up to seven years at any one site. Construction sites also have their own resident inspectors and the number assigned is dependent on the work at each site.