Browns Ferry is TVA’s first and largest nuclear power plant, with three boiling water reactors producing about 20 percent of TVA’s total generation capacity. Browns Ferry is TVA’s top generating asset and is also the second-largest nuclear power producer in the United States.
Located on 840 acres beside Wheeler Reservoir near Athens, Ala., Browns Ferry generates enough electricity to meet the energy needs of more than 2 million homes and businesses in the Tennessee Valley. At the time Unit 1 started commercial operation in 1973, Browns Ferry’s three reactors were the first in the world capable of producing more than 1,000 megawatts—or 1 billion watts of power.
How Browns Ferry Works
Browns Ferry Facts
- Unit 1 began commercial operation on August 1, 1974, with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) renewing the original 40-year license for another 20 years until 2033.
- Unit 2 began commercial operation on March 1, 1975, with a renewed license until 2034.
- Unit 3 began commercial operation on March 1, 1977, with a renewed license until 2036.
- Browns Ferry is in the process of seeking a subsequent license renewal from the NRC for an additional 20 years after the current licenses expire. This will ensure the station will be able to fulfill TVA’s mission of service, providing carbon-free electricity through the mid-point of the 21st Century.
- Following an Extended Power Uprate project that added additional generating capacity to all three units, Browns Ferry can produce up to 3,954 MW of electricity, powering more than two million homes and businesses in the Tennessee Valley.
- Browns Ferry has approximately 1,500 employees onsite, comprised of TVA employees and contractor partners.
- Browns Ferry employees give back to the community through volunteer work, including the renovation of the playground at a Decatur elementary school and park clean-up days. They also contribute to the Browns Ferry Spirit Fund, an employee-funded and volunteer-operated community assistance program that has helped plant employees and neighbors for more than 20 years. In addition, employees donate to the annual Combined Federal Campaign, which allows them to target their pledges to local charities and non-profits that help those in need in our community.
History of Browns Ferry
Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant was named after a ferry in Lawrence County, Ala., at the crossing of the Browns Ferry Road from Huntsville to Courtland, Ala. The North Alabama ferry was originally operated by the Cherokee family of John Brown and historically
recorded as being used as early as November 1813 by local Cherokee Cuttyatoy. John Brown's daughter Patsy married Captain John D. Chisholm who acted as an attorney. Betsy, another daughter of John Brown, married a Cox and for a short period, the ferry
was called Cox's Ferry, but it later reverted back to Browns Ferry.