NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has told the Tennessee Valley Authority that sand baskets installed at four TVA dams to protect downstream nuclear facilities are acceptable temporarily but not as a long-term solution.

The NRC letter obtained by The Tennessean said the baskets might not withstand the impact of large debris in a potential flood overflow that a TVA spokesman described Thursday as "the flood event that we have never ever seen before" (http://tnne.ws/zH1Bmf ).

NRC spokesman Roger Hannah said the sand-filled, wire mesh baskets placed around Cherokee, Fort Loudon, Tellico and Watts Bar dams and earthen embankments are related to flood studies and TVA's planned Bellefonte reactor in northeast Alabama.

TVA spokesman Travis Brickey said possible long-term alternatives include extending the tops of dams with concrete.

 

Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

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