Officials Say AL Nuclear Plant Can Survive Direct Tornado Hit

By: JAY REEVES - Associated Press Writer
By: JAY REEVES - Associated Press Writer

Officials are trying to reassure north Alabama that the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant is built to withstand a direct hit from a tornado.

Nuclear regulators and Tennessee Valley Authority officials told a skeptical crowd Tuesday that a tornado such as the one that came within a couple miles from the installation in April wouldn't have released radiation.

The plant's Unit One has the lowest safety marks of any reactor in the nation because an important cooling valve was found inoperable last fall.

The close call with an EF-5 tornado that plowed across the region heightened fears of a nuclear disaster at the plant. It is nearly identical to the Fukushima plant that was damaged after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

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