TVA Reports Two Unplanned Reactor Outages in August

Sep 11, 2012

The Associated Press is reporting that both of the nuclear power plants operated by TVA in Tennessee had unplanned reactor outages last month. The outage at each plant lasted two days, according to a spokesman for the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Unit 2 at the Sequoyah Nuclear plant tripped August 16th when an electrical short occurred in a coolant pump. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant’s only operating reactor shut down August 28th, and a TVA spokesman said human error caused that outage when an incorrectly calibrated testing device was plugged in.

TVA spokesman Ray Golden says its unusual to have two nuclear units trip in a short time. Each of the reactors had been operating nonstop for more than 300 days before August. TVA operates three nuclear plants and is the nation’s largest public power provider, supplying electricity to all or part of seven states. In addition to the nuclear plants, TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired plants, 18 green power sites, and 11 combustion-turbine sites.