TVA reduces power at Browns Ferry 3 after high radiation recorded

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has reduced power generation to 91% from its Browns Ferry 3 nuclear reactor after a high radiation condition was detected at a main steam line at the plant, according to a report filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

“At 1545 CDT on 04/06/16 Browns Ferry Unit 3 declared and exited the declaration of an unusual event due to a main steam line high radiation condition Power to Unit 3 was reduced to 91 percent power,” according to the event report filed with NRC.

The high radiation condition alarm cleared at 1526 CDT. Browns Ferry Unit 3 reported that the high radiation conditions were due to resin intrusion from the condensate demineralizers into the reactor and hydrogen water chemistry was a potential contributor to the event. The cause is still under investigation.

Government agencies, and counties surrounding the plant, were notified of the event.

The three boiling water reactor (BWR) units at Brows Ferry station can together produce 3,400 MW. Browns Ferry Units 1 and 2 were still listed at 100% power early April 7.

“There were no safety concerns for the general public or employees, and no radiological releases to the environment as the result of the issue,” said a TVA spokesperson. “All three Browns Ferry units remain safely online, although Unit 3 is being held at about 91-92 percent power to allow for a thorough examination of the system involved,” the spokesperson said.

The Browns Ferry nuclear complex is located in Limestone County, Alabama.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at