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Growing concern over safety of aging Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant

Aging Alabama nuclear plant worries critics, Al Alabama,  Dec 25, 2019; By The Associated Press Critics are raising alarms over the age of Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, which opened 46 years ago on the banks of the Tennessee River and is still operating.

Some say equipment at the three-reactor plant is being forced to generate power longer than originally intended and that the storage of spent nuclear fuel is a growing problem, The Decatur Daily reported……..

The first reactor at Browns Ferry opened on Dec. 20, 1973 as the U.S. nuclear industry was growing. The plant has had major problems since, including a serious fire in 1975 and poor operating reviews in 2010.

Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, called the age of the plant “a huge issue looming on the horizon.”

“TVA is making the equipment and the plant work longer and harder than it was originally designed for,” said Smith, who also serves on a council that advises TVA directors. “People need to be very concerned about this.”

The Washington-based Union for Concerned Scientists said that having 46 years of spent fuel stored onsite in pools could be a threat to the entire region.

“Our main concern is that creates an unacceptable higher risk for fire,” said Edwin Lyman, acting director of nuclear safety projects for the group. Lyman said “a terrorist attack could reach a cooling pool with an explosive device and could breach the liner of the cooling pool.”

He favors transferring used fuel into dry storage. ……

December 28, 2019 - Posted by | safety, USA

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