TVA Statement Regarding Japanese Earthquake
March 11, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The men and women of the Tennessee Valley Authority join with the rest of the nation and the world in expressing our deep sorrow over the tragic loss of life and property during the recent Japanese earthquake.
All six of TVA’s nuclear reactors are located in areas that are not prone to frequent or extremely large earthquakes. They are designed, built and operated to withstand an earthquake of larger magnitude than any recorded in the geographic region. This is called the “design-basis earthquake,” and it is what the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), licenses and regulates all nuclear plants to withstand.
Nuclear plants are built with numerous redundant safety systems (power, fire protection and reactor cooling) to ensure safe shut down of the plant should a similar event occur. The safety systems include a multi-foot thick, air-tight, containment building which is designed to safely house the plant’s nuclear reactor and critical equipment in a localized earthquake or other natural or man-made emergency.
The NRC closely regulates all engineering, safety systems, and emergency plans through ongoing reviews. The NRC has on-site, regional and federal personnel who oversee the safe operation of U.S. nuclear power plant operations.
In September 2010, the NRC issued its re-evaluation of seismic risk that applies to all nuclear power plants in the Central and Eastern U.S., including all six TVA reactors. Using the latest earthquake information, the NRC found that "...seismic design of currently operating reactors provides an adequate safety margin."
Additional information on the events in Japan is available using the links below:
Nuclear Energy Institute’s web site at www.nei.org or (202) 739-8000 (Business Hours) / (703) 644-8805 (After Hours)
American Nuclear Society's web site at www.new.ans.org
Media Relations, Knoxville (865) 632-6000