The Browns Ferry nuclear power plant in Alabama experienced an automatic reactor scram yesterday afternoon after a generator overvoltage caused a turbine trip, taking Unit 1 out of service. The Main Steam Isolation Valves opened to control reactor pressure. The unit’s Reactor Feedwater Pumps activated to control reactor water level. The cause of the generator overvoltage is under investigation.
Time for a pop quiz:
Q: The square containment building at Browns Ferry suggests that the plant has what type of reactors?
A:Browns Ferry has three General Electric Boiling Water Reactors of the type that melted down in the March 2011 Fukushima disaster. Browns Ferry was the first nuclear power plant built by the Tennessee Valley Authority and at one point was the largest nuclear facility in the world. The first reactor at Browns Ferry came online in 1973, during the Nixon administration.
Q: In 1975, Browns Ferry suffered a near-catastrophic fire when a technician doing work on the Unit 1 reactor used what to check for air flow around a repair?
A. A candle. The flame from the candle ignited insulation which resulted in a fire that spread to the Reactor Building. I wrote about this yesterday in a post about a false fire alarm at the LaSalle nuclear power plant.