The Unit 3 reactor at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant returned to service on Monday after safely completing a refueling outage.
Unit 3 resumed generating electricity at 6:38 a.m. CDT. Over the next few days, licensed operators will raise reactor power levels until Unit 3 is at full capacity. Browns Ferry Units 1 and 2 continue generating electricity at 100 percent power.
During the outage, 288 fuel assemblies were replaced and more than 11,500 work activities were completed to prepare Unit 3 for another two-year fuel cycle.
Major work activities included the installation of a replacement turbine rotor refurbished to resist corrosion and stress cracking; key reactor safety systems were disassembled, inspected and upgraded; and more than 100 electrical relays and breakers were replaced with upgraded equipment.
“The Browns Ferry team did an excellent job completing a safe and event-free outage while also operating Units 1 and 2 to provide power to TVA customers,” said Keith Polson, Browns Ferry site vice president. “The team’s work during this outage will help ensure safe and reliable operation of all three units at Browns Ferry.”
Browns Ferry employees were supplemented by more than 800 contractors during the outage, adding about $5 million to the local economy.
Browns Ferry Unit 3 is one of six nuclear power generating units operated by TVA at three facilities. At full capacity, Browns Ferry’s three 1,100-megawatt units produce enough electricity to power more than 2 million homes. TVA also operates two units at the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant near Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., and one unit at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Spring City, Tn., where a second unit is scheduled for completion at the end of 2015.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.