- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ATHENS, Ala. (AP) - A reactor at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant was shut down because of a problem that occurred while it was being returned to operation after refueling, federal regulators said Wednesday.

A report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Unit 3, which was being brought back to service after an outage, automatically shut down late Tuesday while at 35 percent power.

A spokesman for the regulatory agency, Roger Hannah, said the problem occurred with a turbine, which is used to generate electricity using steam produced from the reactor.

“It was on the non-nuclear side of the plant,” said Hannah. Safety systems apparently operated normally to shut down the reactor because of the problem, he said.

Workers replaced 288 fuel assemblies during the outage, and they also replaced and refurbished other parts of the reactor and its generating turbine.

The plant’s other two reactors continued operating at full power despite the shutdown.

Browns Ferry is located on the Tennessee River near Athens in north Alabama.

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