Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Jim Hopson, shootout, Tennessee, TVA, Watts Bar Nuclear Plant
Tennessee, late Saturday night.
An unidentified suspect fired multiple rounds at a security officer on patrol at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant early Sunday morning, and at least one round hit the security officer’s vehicle, an official said.
The Tennessee Valley Authority nuclear security officer fired back, also shooting multiple rounds.
The suspect appeared to have initially been on the ground but may have fled in a boat, TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said.
The shots were fired just after 2 a.m. this morning on the east side of the 1,700-acre plant, near the Tennessee River, toward the plant’s southern boundary, TVA said. The officer was several hundred yards outside the protected area where the reactor and power equipment are located.
Hopson said some information can’t be released yet, such as the identity of the security officer, or it is not available, such as the total number of rounds fired. Hopson didn’t have a description of the suspect.
“Many of the details I won’t be able to share,” he said. “The investigation is still ongoing.”
It’s the first time since Watts Bar began operating in 1996 that a nuclear security officer has exchanged gunfire with a suspect at the site.
Well that’s good. A seventeen-year stretch with no gunfights.
The Watts Bar Nuclear Plant is near Spring City, which is about 45 miles southwest of Oak Ridge. It’s in Rhea County south of Watts Bar Lake and on the north end of Chickamauga Lake. The plant has one 1,100-megawatt unit that is already operating, and a second is under construction.
Note: This story was last updated at 9:05 a.m. April 23.