TVA idles both Watts Bar reactors

Transformer fire forces plant shutdown for assessment

Watts Bar nuclear plant.

Less than two days after a transformer fire forced TVA's newest reactor to shut down, the other reactor at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant was also shut down today to help plant workers perform needed tests and equipment repairs in the switchyard following the Tuesday night blaze.

TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said the Unit 1 reactor at Watts Bar was idled to allow plant workers to safely assess the main bank transformers and other equipment without the switchyard being energized with electricity.

"The safest way to do the assessment we need to do is to de-energize the switchyard and the only way to that is to take the unit off line," Hopson said. "We wanted to ensure the safety of our employees while they do this necessary work."

Hopson said TVA hopes to complete the evaluation and to be able to restart the Unit 1 reactor "within a few days."