Operators at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Browns Ferry Unit 1 in Alabama returned the nuclear reactor to power production early Nov. 4, following conclusion of a planned refueling and maintenance outage.
The regularly-scheduled outage should help ensure reliable operation for the next 24 months, TVA said in a news release. Browns Ferry 1 was listed at 23% power early Nov. 4, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) data.
In addition to replacing 280 of the unit’s fuel assemblies, Browns Ferry employees – supported by an additional 900 TVA and contract personnel — completed more than 14,000 work activities, including detailed inspections of reactor vessel components, maintenance operations, and installation of modifications and upgrades to plant equipment that will improve reliability, TVA said in a news release.
“The work we performed in this outage puts Unit 1 in the best position to continue to safely and reliably generate carbon-free, low-cost energy to serve the people of the Tennessee Valley,” said Steve Bono, Browns Ferry site vice president.
During the outage, upgraded equipment and modifications were installed to enhance the station’s recently implemented National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 805-compliant fire protection program. Based on a comprehensive risk analysis, the fire protection upgrades increase operators’ ability to keep the facility safe even during the most extreme events.
Browns Ferry’s three boiling water reactor (BWR) units in Limestone County, Alabama produce more than 3,300 MW of carbon-free electricity, TVA said.
Another TVA nuclear facility, Watts Bar 2 in Tennessee, recently resumed 100% power generation after being taken offline Oct. 24 to address a transformer problem.
Collectively, TVA’s seven operational nuclear units provide more than one third of all of the power used by the more than 9 million consumers in a seven-state service area.