Unplanned Events

Watts Bar / US Regulator Fines TVA For Failing To Follow Startup Proecedures

By David Dalton
10 November 2020

US Regulator Fines TVA For Failing To Follow Startup Proecedures
The Watts Bar nuclear power station in Tennessee. Courtesy TVA.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued notices of violation and three civil penalties totalling $903,471 to the Tennessee Valley Authority for failing to follow procedures when it restarted Unit 1 of its Watts Bar nuclear power station following a 2015 maintenance outage.

The NRC's four-year investigation found five violations, including inaccurate control room log information.

The NRC also issued violations to two managers and a plant operator for their roles in the incident.

During the Unit 1 startup, operators failed to follow plant procedures and subsequently failed to properly document their actions in the control room log. Shift managers also failed to review the logs to ensure their accuracy.

Through numerous inspections, interviews, and conferences over more than four years, the NRC identified five TVA violations associated with non-conservative decision making, procedural violations, and incomplete or inaccurate information regarding the events provided by the utility to the NRC.

TVA and the three cited individuals have 30 days to respond to the NRC’s enforcement actions.

Watts Bar-1 is a 1,157-MW Westinghouse nuclear power plant that began commercial operation in 1996.

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