Watts Bar Exits “Unusual Event,” But Investigation Continues
April 21, 2013
The Watts Bar plant has exited from the unusual event status it entered after a security incident on site earlier this morning. Although an investigation into the event is continuing, plant staff confirmed that there were no lapses in security measures that are in place to fully protect the plant and the general public.
Just after 2 a.m. this morning, April 21, Watts Bar plant staff declared an unusual event, the lowest of the NRC’s four emergency classifications, due to an incident where gunshots were fired involving a TVA nuclear security officer. There was no threat to public safety during the incident and no threat to the security of the plant due to the location outside of the plant perimeter. An investigation is underway.
The incident occurred on the Tennessee River side of the plant property, but several hundred yards from the site’s protected area, which houses the reactor and power production facilities. The site remains under a heightened state of security. Local law enforcement agencies are assisting TVA Police with the investigation. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and appropriate state and federal agencies were notified, and the NRC has staffed its incident response center in the Region II office in Atlanta and is monitoring the events, along with the resident inspector who has responded to the site.