NRC Schedules Meetings To Discuss Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 1 Performance And Watts Bar Unit 2 Construction

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has scheduled two meetings for April 16, to discuss the agency’s inspections and assessment of Unit 1 at the Watts Bar nuclear power plant, and NRC inspection and oversight of construction at Watts Bar Unit 2 during 2012. The Watts Bar plant, operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority, is located near Spring City. Tn., about 60 miles southwest of Knoxville.

The first meeting is to discuss Watts Bar Unit 2 and is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the Comfort Inn, 2811 Decatur Pike in Athens, Tenn. After a brief presentation on the NRC’s assessment of construction activities at Unit 2, the NRC staff will be available to answer questions or provide additional information about NRC oversight and inspection.

The second meeting is about Watts Bar Unit 1 and is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. in the same location and will cover the NRC staff’s 2012 assessment of Unit 1, which has been in operation since 1996. The NRC staff will also be available after the second meeting.

“The NRC inspects nuclear plants and monitors their performance on an ongoing basis,” said NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree. “We issue inspection reports throughout the year and we hold these annual meetings near each plant to discuss our oversight and answer any questions local residents may have.”

For Unit 2, the NRC staff concluded that construction work was conducted in a manner that met the agency’s requirements. However, NRC inspectors identified some apparent violations related to the TVA commercial grade dedication program at Watts Bar 2 and the NRC is still reviewing those violations. Commercial grade dedication is a process that provides reasonable assurance that components purchased from a commercial supplier are equivalent to nuclear grade items.

Also at Unit 2, the NRC issued a confirmatory order regarding inadequate records for containment penetration cables. The NRC plans to review TVA’s corrective actions, but no other issues were identified during the assessment period that would cause the NRC to increase its wide-ranging construction inspection efforts.

The NRC assessment letter for Watts Bar Unit 2 construction activities during 2012 can be found on the NRC website at pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1306/ML13063A460.pdf.

Watts Bar Unit 1 was subjected to increased NRC oversight during the first two quarters of 2012 for a security issue, but NRC inspectors found that the problem had been corrected and Unit 1 was returned to normal NRC oversight during the second half of 2012.

There were no additional findings or performance indicators that would cause the NRC to increase its level of oversight and inspection. During 2013, the NRC staff will continue the detailed routine inspections at Watts Bar Unit 1 that all nuclear power plants receive.

Inspections are carried out by the NRC resident inspectors assigned to the plant and by specialized inspectors from the Region II office in Atlanta.

Inspection findings and performance indicators for Watts Bar Unit 1 and other operating nuclear plants are updated on the NRC’s website (www.nrc.gov) each quarter.

The annual assessment letter for Watts Bar Unit 1 is available on the NRC website at
www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/LETTERS/wb_2012q4.pdf .

Current performance information for Watts Bar Unit 1 is available on the NRC website at www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/WB1/wb1_chart.html.


Supreme Court Affirms Convictions For 2010 Robbery And Home Invasion In Knoxville

The  Tennessee Supreme Court has affirmed the convictions of three men accused of robbing a woman outside her Knoxville residence, ordering her into her home, and confining her inside while they ransacked her property. In April 2010, Larry Jereller Alston, Kris Theotis Young, and Joshua Edward Webb accosted Carolyn Sue Maples outside her Knoxville residence. The three ... (click for more)

Professional Privilege Tax Is Due June 1

The Department of Revenue reminds professionals subject to the professional privilege tax that the tax must be filed and paid by June 1. The $400 professional privilege tax is an annual tax imposed on certain professionals who hold an active Tennessee license or registration on the  June 1  due date, regardless of whether the person practices his or her profession ... (click for more)

Ganns/Falling Water School Way Over Budget

The final figure for the new Ganns/Falling Water School is way over budget, county officials said Wednesday. However, the County Commission voted to proceed on the $29,414,000 project. Gary Waters of the county schools said his estimate had been $25 million and he was surprised at the amount of the school bid that was awarded to Rentenbach Constructors. He said in lean times ... (click for more)

More Paving To Begin Soon On Dayton Boulevard; Red Bank Budget Has No Tax Increase

Improvements and work along Dayton Boulevard will begin soon. At the Red Bank Commission meeting Tuesday night, City Manager Randall Smith received approval from the commissioners to enter into a contract with TDOT on the next phase of paving Dayton Boulevard. Resurfacing has recently been finished from Memorial Drive to Greenleaf Street. The upcoming work will continue up Dayton ... (click for more)

The Swat Heard 'Round The World

If one can reach Toya Graham, the lady who whipped her boy and brought  him home from a life of crime in Baltimore, I want to give her a  nomination for my Bill of Rights Award.  This was a beautiful move and one which I call The Swat Heard 'Round the World.  Mind you, if it had been a white lady whipping her child to save her child from crime, she would ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Anti-Semitism Is Now Here

To those of the Jewish faith, the celebration of Passover every year is one of freedom. The sacred holidays, held in early April, commemorate the Exodus out of Egypt when Moses led the tribe of Israel from slavery to freedom. I believe it is one of the greatest stories in the Bible. On the other hand, the Jewish people of today are hardly free. Globally, anti-Semitic attacks in ... (click for more)