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TVA to Test New Emergency Notification System

July 23, 2013

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority will be testing a new supplemental voice emergency notification system for notifying plant personnel at its nuclear facilities on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 30-31.

Similar to recently updated emergency sirens within the 10-mile notification area around the plants, the new voice system will be battery-powered, capable of operating for up to seven days, and mounted on metal poles that can withstand high winds.

The need for supplemental voice public address systems, which can operate independently of the normal power grid, became apparent during Japan's Fukushima event. The Japanese facility lost all AC electric power for extended periods, and with it they lost their public address system, radios and cell phones. The result was a breakdown of plant-wide communications that endangered the safety of personnel.

A truck-mounted speaker system will be used to test the notification system in at least three locations on each site. Each test will consist of an audible tone and a pre-recorded voice announcement. If the tests validate the equipment can be heard by all populated areas at the plant, TVA will move forward with a permanent installation at all three TVA nuclear sites beginning in early 2014. The installed voice systems will operate independently of existing public address systems, and will be used only for emergencies.

Tests will occur Tuesday, July 30, around Watts Bar Nuclear Plant from 8-10 a.m. EDT, and around Sequoyah Nuclear Plant from 1-3 p.m. EDT. Tests will be conducted around Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant on Wednesday, July 31, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. CDT.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.

Media Contact

Gail Rymer, 865-632-2911
TVA Public Relations, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000



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