Shots fired at Watts Bar

22 April 2013

Security guards at Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA's) Watts Bar nuclear power plant fired shots yesterday morning in an incident which is now under investigation.

Watts Bar (TVA) 480x305
Watts Bar (Image: TVA)

No explanation has yet been given for the gunfire which occurred shortly after 2am this morning. TVA officially notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and held an 'unusual event' status for a time. The company said it was investigating the incident with the help of local police.

TVA said it was "an incident where gunshots were fired involving a TVA nuclear security officer," while the Knoxville News Sentinel described it as a confrontation involving multiple shots between a guard on regular patrol and an unknown individual thought to have escaped on a boat. The Nuclear Energy Institute said that US nuclear power plants were "equipped with extensive security measures to protect the facility from intruders and to protect the public from the possibility of exposure to radioactive releases caused by acts of sabotage."

Yesterday's events took place "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," said TVA. One large pressurized water reactor operates at Watts Bar, and another is under construction.

There was no threat to public safety, or to security staff, said TVA, noting that "the site remains under a heightened state of security."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Filed under: USA