TVA expects damaged transmission power lines repaired by end of summer

TVA expects damaged transmission power lines repaired by end of summer

May 3rd, 2011 by Pam Sohn in Local - Breaking News

Damaged transmission lines at TVA's Widows Creek Fossil Fuel Plant block Jackson County Highway 96 in Bridgeport. Staff Photo by Dan Henry - The Chattanooga Times Free Press

It will be the end of summer before TVA expects to have all of its damaged high-voltage transmission power lines repaired, Chief Operating Officer Bill McCollum said today.

In the meantime, Tennessee Valley Authority's power grid "will not be as robust as it has been," he said, but for now about 95 percent of the distributors - including EPB - that receive power from those transmission lines are again receiving electricity, and the rest should be in a matter of days.

TVA's Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant shut down automatically when unprecedented storms and tornadoes knocked out more than 300 transmission power towers.

McCollum and TVA spokesman Ray Golden said the Browns Ferry will be restarted when TVA deems its rerouted and repaired power system to be stabilized.

The nuclear plant remains in "safe shutdown," they said.

Until last night, the plant's three reactors and spent fuel pools were cooled using diesel-powered generators.

TVA officials said the utility was able to restore off-site power to the nuclear plant Tuesday night and its nearly week-long "notification of unusual event" with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was terminated.