Sequoyah Nuclear Plant Gets High Marks From NRC

Reported by: Webb Wright
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Updated: 4/30/2013 11:47 pm
      The grade is in for TVA and the Sequoyah Nuclear power plant, both reactors scoring high marks for safety from the NRC.
      "There are 104 operating commercial power reactors in the country and 81 of them are in what we call regulatory response or column one, the best performing units and Sequoyah rates with those 81," said Joey Ledford, Public Affairs Officer for the NRC.
       "We've taken some flood preperation and implemented some security and flood preperation motifications that has made the plant safer and we have continued to do that and the NRC tonight gave us good marks on our health and public safety assessment," added Mike Bradley with TVA.
        In the wake of the 2011 Fukishima Nuclear disaster in Japan, the NRC says effort to upgrade safety have paid off in the US.
        "They have to better protect spent fuel, pools so they can monitor the temperature of the water. The vending systems for the reactors, the containment systems and also the hazards of severe earthquakes and flooding events, so everything that has happened in the world, has helped the industry and the NRC develop programs to help make the commercial reactors safer for the public," said Ledford.
        There has also been increased preparedness to guard against possible acts of terrorism as well.
        "After 9/11 there was an effort to build up plant security and that effort is on going. There is nothing in the country that is as well protected as nuclear power plants. They have heavily armed guards, very fortified facilities, you can rest assured that the nuclear plants are well protected and are secure," said Ledford.
        TVA and NRC officials say they are still investigating an incident at the Watts Bar site where a security officer exchanged fire with someone outside of the protected area of the plant. They are still classifying the event as an unusual event, which is the lowest of its four emergency classifications.
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