Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant

Browns Ferry is TVA’s first and largest site with three boiling water reactors producing about 10 percent of TVA’s total generation capacity. In 2014, Browns Ferry was the second-largest power producer in the United States.

Located on 840 acres beside Wheeler Reservoir near Athens, Ala., the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant is one of the most powerful in TVA’s generating portfolio. When the plant opened in 1974, its three boiling-water 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 Dec. 20, 1973, and the NRC renewed the original 40 year license for another 20 years until 2033.
  • Unit 2 began commercial operation June 28, 1974, with a renewed license until 2034.
  • Unit 3 began commercial operation July 2, 1976, with a renewed license until 2036.
  • All three units can produce 3,400 MW, powering almost two million homes.
  • Browns Ferry has 1,400 full-time employees onsite.
  • Browns Ferry employees give back to the area communities through 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.

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 for Chickamauga Chief Doublehead who lived at Doublehead's Town at Browns Ferry. 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.