The Tennessee Valley Authority idled one of the reactors at its newest nuclear power plant Wednesday after a gauge indicated a lower than expected level in one of its four steam generators and then, within 15 minutes of when workers shut down the Unit 1 reactor, workers detected smoke in a battery room in the control building.
TVA activated the lowest level of its emergency response to the potential fire at the Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant at 9:52 a.m. Wednesday due to the smoke. But TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said plant workers determined there was no fire but only an overheated component that began smoking.
“We exited out of the “unusual event” status by 11:26 a.m. once we determined there was no fire or danger,” Hopson said. “There was no safety concern for the plant, for the public or for any employee and there were no injuries. But it was the right decision to go to the notice of unusual event when we could not immediately determine if there was any fire risk.”