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U.S. Nuclear Reactors

Browns Ferry Unit 2

Decatur, Alabama
Local population: 34,794 (10-mile radius)


Boiling Water Reactor


Licensed to operate from 08/02/74-06/28/34


Tennessee Valley Authority

Safety Issues:

Elevated Spent Fuel Pool, Fire Protection Problems, Flooding Hazard, Groundwater Leaks Reported, Heightened NRC Attention, Year Plus Outages

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Related Links & Documents

12/05/2012: An All Things Nuclear blog post commended the owner for upgrading the emergency sirens used to warn the public in event of an accident.

05/18/2012: Fission Stories #98 chronicled the NRC’s granting another year for the owner to try to achieve compliance with federal fire protection regulations – “requirements” enacted by the NRC way back in 1980 following a fire at Browns Ferry.

09/18/2006   UCS documented the factors leading to the year-plus reactor outage that began in September 1984 in this case study for our Walking a Nuclear Tightrope report.  See details | Download the pdf

09/18/2006  UCS documented causes and corrections for the year-plus reactor outage following the 1975 fire in this case study for our Walking a Nuclear Tightrope report.  See details | Download the pdf

11/1980: Fission Stories #71 completed a trilogy of refueling miscues at Browns Ferry by relating how a log on a metal clipboard used to track items dropped into the reactor vessel was accidentally dropped into the reactor vessel itself.

11/1980: Fission Stories #70 explained how several dozen metal tags used to aid workers moving fuel bundles between the spent fuel pool and the reactor core were inadvertently dumped into the spent fuel pool, introducing the potential for blocking cooling water flow through fuel bundle(s).

03/22/1975  Fission Stories #16 explains how a worker using a candle to search for air leaks in the room directly below the control room started a fire that disabled all of the emergency core cooling systems for Unit 1 and most of those systems for Unit 2.