TVA's Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant not ready for inspection

photo Tennessee Valley Authority's Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant near Athens, Ala., is seen from above.

TVA's Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant vice president told the Nuclear Regulatory Agency on Thursday that the plant still is not ready for a third and final special inspection to clear a reactor's "red" safety rating.

"We agree that [the red finding] is where we should be right now," said Keith Polson. "We want to reduce the risk at the plant and improve our performance, but that has to be sustainable. This is an exercise to improve our process."

NRC placed Browns Ferry in a red rating last year after it was determined in October 2010 that a valve intended to help cool the Unit 1 reactor in emergencies had not been functional in the previous 18 months.