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Investigating a “chilled” work environment in the operations department at the Watts Bar nuclear power plant, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials want to meet with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) officials Thursday to determine the current status and progress of actions taken to remedy the situation.

On March 23, 2016, the NRC staff issued a letter to TVA indicating some of its operations employees at the Spring Valley, TN, plant may not have felt comfortable raising safety concerns at the plant.

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Specifically, the NRC expressed concern that some licensed operators may have been unduly influenced by TVA managers outside the control room, which could have caused what is described as a “chilling effect” on the plant’s work environment, making it less likely for employees to raise safety issues.

During the meeting, TVA is expected to provide an update on its corrective actions related to the work environment at the plant, enabling NRC officials to ask questions and discuss the agency’s plans to continue to provide oversight regarding this issue.

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The meeting should begin Thursday at 6 p.m., in Athens, TN. NRC staff will be available following the business portion of the meeting to answer questions from members of the public and the media.

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