TVA's Brown Ferry Unit Idle Again

ATHENS, Ala. (AP) -- For the fifth time in four months, the TVA's Unit one reactor at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Athens, Alabama is shut down.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported today that the reactor was operating at full power Friday morning when a turbine trip forced it to shut down automatically.

Browns Ferry spokesman Jason Huffine said today the unit remains idle.

He said the Unit 2 and Unit 3 reactors are continuing to operate at full power.

Huffine said there was never any danger to anyone or the environment and all "plant systems functioned as designed."

A leaky hydraulic system discovered September 3rd forced the fourth shutdown of the reactor since it was restarted June 2nd after a refurbishment.

The three previous shutdowns -- one of which involved another hydraulic leak -- also resulted in brief outages of Unit one.

TVA restarted Unit one after five years of renovation work. The reactor had been off line since 1985, when the entire plant was shut down over safety and management concerns.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)