published Thursday, April 14th, 2011

TVA adding satellite phones, portable generators at nuclear plants

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    This is the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant near Soddy-Daisy. Staff File Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press

TVA will immediately add satellite telephones and small portable generators and could add more dry cask storage and hardened water supply pipes at its nuclear power plants, TVA Chief Operating Officer Bill McCollum said today.

The federal utility is making the changes — and studying other plant changes — in response to the earthquake-damaged nuclear plant in Japan.

McCollum told the TVA board today that TVA is looking at both short-term and long-term changes to minimize a nuclear plant accident like what happened in Japan.

The utility may add more diesel generators as backup power, McCollum said.

TVA officials insist its nuclear plants are safe.

"We are trying to assure that we're ready for the unexpected," McCollum said.

TVA put off a decision today on whether to finish the Bellefonte Nuclear plant in Northeast Alabama while the staff assesses the Japanese nuclear disaster.

"We continue to view nuclear power as a viable option for the future, but we are taking a pause as we consider the future of our Bellefonte plant," TVA Chairman Dennis Bottorff said

See tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press for complete coverage.

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