Shots Fired! Security at Tennessee Nuke Plant Exchanges Gunfire With Unknown Attacker

Shots Fired! Security at Tennessee Nuke Plant Exchanges Gunfire With Unknown Attacker


How is this not bigger news?

A TVA spokesperson confirmed that a security officer patrolling TVA Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in Spring City was involved in a shootout with a suspect Sunday at about 2:00 a.m.

The security incident happened on the Tennessee River side of the plant property, more than a quarter mile from the plant’s protected area, which houses its reactor and power production facilities.

TVA spokesperson Jim Hopson said the subject traveled up to the plant on a boat and walked onto the property. When the officer questioned the suspect, the individual fired multiple shots at the officer. The officer shot back, and when he called for backup, the suspect sped away on his boat.

At least one bullet struck the patrol vehicle, but the officer was not injured in the incident.

TVA officials labeled the incident as an “unusual event,” which is the lowest level of its four emergency classifications.

“A notice of unusual event?”

That’s the lowest emergency classification by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

It’s understandable they would issue that, considering it’s based on a radioactive release, but it doesn’t explain the lack of response from law enforcement:

Plant officials said the incident didn’t threaten the plant’s security.

Wait, what?

I believe the officer that was being shot at would disagree.

FBI, TVA and NRC officials are investigating the incident, and authorities have not named a suspect at this time.

NRC staff from its Atlanta office are monitoring the event, along with its resident inspector who responded to the site.

I know things are hot in Boston right now, but this deserves a little more attention than it’s getting.

You take the Boston bombing, the Texas explosion and now this. It’s bordering on tin foil hattery, but it’s not impossible that these three things could be related.

Even if it’s an isolated incident, it deserves more attention.

This was an attack on a nuclear power plant. That’s kind of a big deal.

  • Dana Jones

    wtf is going on?? Sh*t is starting to get scary.

  • John Brashear

    Never let a good crisis go to waste….right Rahm?

  • Douglas Lemonds

    YEAH !!! KIND OF A BIG DEAL = 10,000’s OF LIVES AT STAKE !!! :(

  • MS

    you’re blowing this out of proportion, and probably way offline to suggest that all three of these incidents are somehow related. If you’re going to make that suggestion, you might also suggest that every murder that occurs every 60 seconds in the U.S is related too. I’m not trying to downplay this incident, but it doesn’t seem to carry the same magnitude as others right now.

    • Samuel Thompson

      Maybe it was by “Executive Order” !

  • Jasmyn Brommer

    UM…so when they said the security office was shot at MIT-we thought–there is a nuclear reactor at MIT–we never heard why the suspects were even at MIT in the first place, or why they shot the security officer…but then there was a report of the robbery at the 7/11 that 7/11 denies later-why are they targeting or someone targeting nuclear power plants, and fertilizer plants that are off the grid?

    • Rich

      I believe they caught the 2 “grunts” of this operation…………Who supplied the money to do this???………and who made the explosives????………This wasn’t garden variety black powder that you’d use in your muzzle loader

      • Robert C. Muench

        There is a special kind of black powder? Please fill us in.

    • E.T.

      ^^^You, Jasmyn, are a thinker! Exactly what I’ve been thinking! :)

  • Becky Wyman Lucas

    These power Plants are such a major way to not only cause casualty it knocks out power as well.All across this nation every person should keep watchful eye on all people/places/things.

  • kenny1801

    Probably a liberal…it has all the hallmarks of something that a liberal would do..

    • Adam Patrick

      Because we all know that conservatives have never done something like this.

      • George Haggard

        Tim McVeigh was a union member and a registered democrat

  • James Powell

    People and their labels. Most of you are fin retarded and always will be.

    • Joanne Styslinger

      hmmm, name calling = progressive = regressive.

  • Aman

    I think the MIT guy was one of their guys that got the circuit boards and controls for them… why else would they be involved with an MIT security guard? Or maybe they figured out it was him that set them up…

  • John Kennedy

    action reaction solution

  • joefusion

    They’re trying to create another distraction so they can get the gun bills through.

  • bigmurr

    Somebody comes on property at 2 am by boat, shoots at security then speeds off???? Where is the coast guard? Where is the news coverage? This is huge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t anybody shoot anymore? …and these people have guns…why, if you don’t know how to use them!!!

    • robertsgunshop

      You have to take into consider that shooting under stress is a lot harder than shooting at a paper target at the range. Adrenalin plays hell with your aim.

  • Kent Mansberger

    We have a Nuke planr a few miles down the road and they take security very serious plus we have Luke AFB for air cover. Seems to me someone is keeping this quiet.

  • Wilson Baeza


  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I get that this may be some poacher who was spooked when jumped…but who poaches dear or catfish at some Nuke plant?

    • Duane Lester

      And what poacher opens fire on nuclear security? Most would just run away.

      • Evi L. Bloggerlady

        I agree it does not make sense. Plus poaching is not that big a charge (although they may take your boat or guns if you get caught). The first reaction is to flee and not get caught, not shoot and make things worse.

    • robertsgunshop

      They grow bigger there. Those glow in the dark catfish are tasty.

      • Evi L. Bloggerlady

        I hear that!

  • Ron Wagner

    Sounds like a real problem. This is in range of RPGs.

  • Ron Wagner
  • Alan Beasley

    4 1/2 football fields away. That’s not far away at all

  • Mark A Raymond

    Someone was talking about how pisspoor the shooting has been by the so called elite govt forces. I gota say that more people were in danger from police and atf bullets flying all over than from a lousy pressure cooker bomb. I know it sounds weird but stop and think. They expended200 plus shells in the first gunfight, and at least that much in the second. and all they got was 1 dead terrorist and one half alive? Id be embarrassed to say i even pulled my gun out and fired if i didnt do a better job than that.

  • sun_dance

    Add the fact that the obama administration wants to buy out TVA!! Hmmmm interesting indeed.

  • Nick1971

    This is pretty big news. I’m curious how the intruder gained access in the first place.

    • Jeff Benkovic

      He was not inside the secured access area. It sounds like the external vehicle patrol guard was dispatched after the individual was spotted on camera. One external individual is not a threat to a nuclear power plant. Mountain out of a mole hill.

      • Nick1971

        I work security at a data center, and a guy on our external perimeter would be a huge deal. Even more so that he was attempting to gain access to a nuclear power plant with a weapon.

        • Jeff Benkovic

          I was a guard at a nuclear power station. I have a bit more of an idea of what is a legit threat and what is not. This was not.

          • Nick1971

            So….people shooting at you and trying to gain access to a nuclear power plant weapon is not a legitimate threat?

            I shudder to think what you would consider an actual threat…

          • Jeff Benkovic

            A person with a small firearm can not do any damage to a plant. If there was a group and they had explosives, then yes. An individual with a firearm will not gain entry. What, you think they can just waltz into the plant entrance and shoot their way through a biometric gate that would be locked down? No explosives, no threat.

          • Nick1971

            Before I worked security, I was a CBRN officer in the military. I tend to not be so blithe when “intruder” and “nuclear” are in the same context.

            The article says nothing of further investigations, whether there was an accomplice or suspected accomplice, or what the individual had with him…maybe because they didn’t catch him.

            I’m glad I don’t work with you on a security detail. You seem to discount credible threats for the sake of your own opinions.

          • Jeff Benkovic

            I was in the Navy so I have military background as well. I worked on a nuclear powered submarine and was certified as a nuclear weapons security guard while I was in. You may have military background as a CBRN officer but you do not know the standard practices nor policy of the commercial nuclear industry nor the NRC. I can not disclose the NRC’s policy with regards to what they consider a viable attack as that is sensitive information. Just know that a one man intruder is not a threat.

            I would not want to be on a security detail with you because you get too excited over small matters and over exaggerate things. You must have had a high stress level when you were in. Maybe, just maybe, I have a better tactical analysis than you do and understand the big picture.

            Have you been around any nuclear power plants? Do you know the security requirements for them? Do you know the NRC’s policy on what can cause a catastrophic radioactive leak?

          • Nick1971

            Props to you for qualifying on a nuclear sub. I have friends with whom you may have served, so I know how tough that is.

            However, maybe…just MAYbe…your qualifications and experiences have made you just a mite complacent.

            Besides my military experience, I am also a scientist. I probably understand the concepts behind nuclear fission better than the average bear, and I also understand that, despite safety protocols, that issues DO arise, and that some random chucklehead with the right intel might make a situation like this VERY bad.

            Complacency kills. Don’t be “that guy.”

          • Jeff Benkovic

            I won’t say this wasn’t someone possibly scoping and gathering advanced intel on security timelines and responses; that is a possibility It could have future ramifications that result from this, if anything is found out. It could also have been somebody that wasn’t quite right in the head, too. It could go either way. I’m not saying I would have ignored it flat out; yes, I probably would have been a bit more alert for the rest of the shift, if I were there.

            I’m just saying unless something else comes of this, there isn’t reason to start a panic or fear. At this time, there should be minimal concern from the public. The government and other nuclear plants should increase their concern just in case to avoid complacency, as you said. Sometimes, having too great of a response can be just as deadly as having not enough response.

  • Jeff Benkovic

    With no explosives, the plant was not in any danger.

    • vermindust

      Unless a bullet hits a power transformer. They blow up good. Power production facilaty has them.

      • Jeff Benkovic

        When was the last time you were at a nuclear power generating station? Do you even know what the lay out of one is? I know the required security layout as I was a guard at a nuke power plant. The only assessment that matters in a situation like this: would the individual have been able to cause a non-controlled radiation leak? The NRC assessed it correctly: no, the individual would not have been able to.

        • Nick1971

          You……do seem to be giving out a great deal of info on an unsecured media…

          Just saying.

          • Jeff Benkovic

            That is kind of a common sense thing. The minimum amount they consider as being uncontrollable, no idea. I haven’t stated minimum security requirements, minimum guard requirements, required weapons load out, stand off distances from the secured access area, timelines, waste storage/transportation, etc.

  • Bob Rynes

    Time to have all those guards get recertified!!!! WHY didn’t he hit what he was aiming
    at??? Does he have the right weapon for
    the job, perhaps one with a bit more distance and accuracy would have allowed
    the guard to do his job much more effectively!

  • Robert Teegarden

    Remember the so-called Tonkin Gulf incident in 1964 that then President Johnson used as a reason (excuse) to send troops into Viet Nam? It never happened! It was a false flag… it was a lie. Your government lead 55,000 US soldiers to their death over a lie, not to mention the countless thousands who suffered heinous injuries in that “police action.”

    Did you also know that the TVA is up for a proposed sale by the US government? Hmmm. Just seems like we can’t trust those nuclear reactor folks.

    The report seems awfully casual for a shooting match out of nowhere. The perpetrator just happened to steer his boat up that canal and just happened to walk onto the property. He shot, they shot; they both missed. Awfully careless marksmanship. Or was it?

    Read between the lines, use your reason, and think through all the distractions.

  • Ronald Dixon

    If you live near an atomic power plant you might want to volunteer to stand guard with their security police? They will probably not accept the offer, but would like the support!