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TVA to Explain Nuclear Reactor Coolant Valve Problem

The failure of a reactor coolant valve at the Tennessee Valley Authority's nuclear plant in North Alabama has raised questions about an apparent violation of Nuclear Regulatory Commission requirements.

An NRC statement said TVA has been called to a Monday meeting in Atlanta to explain the safety significance of the valve failure that TVA discovered last fall during a shutdown of the Unit 1 reactor at the Browns Ferry Plant near Athens.

The statement said the valve "would have been unable to fulfill its safety function if it had been needed."

TVA nuclear spokesman Ray Golden said Thursday that the mechanical problem was discovered, repaired and reported during a Unit 1 shutdown at the three-reactor plant and was never a safety threat. Golden said there are separate cooling systems.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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