The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has scheduled an open house for May 9 to provide information and answer questions regarding the safety performance of the Watts Bar nuclear power plant, including the recent annual assessment letter covering all of 2018.
The open house will run from 5-6 p.m. in the Spring City Municipal Building, 229 Front St., Spring City, Tn. NRC employees responsible for plant inspections, including the resident inspectors based full-time at the site, will be available at the open house.
The two-unit Watts Bar plant, operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority, is located near Spring City, approximately 60 miles southwest of Knoxville.
The NRC concluded that the Watts Bar plant operated safely during 2018. However, Unit 2 received increased oversight during 2018 resulting from a white performance indicator for the number of unplanned reactor shutdowns. A recently issued violation associated with a white inspection finding related to the plant’s emergency plan and improperly calibrated radiation monitors led to increased oversight. TVA has taken corrective actions in both areas.
The NRC Reactor Oversight Process uses color-coded inspection findings and indicators to measure plant performance. The colors start at green and increase to white, yellow or red, commensurate with the safety significance of the issues involved. Inspection findings or performance indicators with more than very low safety significance trigger increased NRC oversight.
Inspections are performed by the NRC resident inspectors and inspection specialists from the NRC Region II office in Atlanta. The annual assessment letter, which includes upcoming inspection plans for the plant, is available on the NRC website. Current performance information for Unit 1 and Unit 2 is also on the website and is updated on a quarterly basis.