The suspect fired multiple rounds at a Tennessee Valley Authority security officer who was on a routine patrol near the banks of Chickamauga Lake about 2 a.m. Sunday, TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said.The facility, which is located about an hour northeast of Chattanooga, was placed on heightened alert into Sunday afternoon. Officials from the Tenessee Valley Authority [NYSE: TVE] said it was the first such incident since the plant opened in 1996 [This weekend's incident could be much ado about nothing or an attempt to probe the plant's security- NANESB!]. The TVA had agreed to a contract with the Pinkerton agency from around the time the Watt's Bar plant opened until 2008 when they replaced the Pinkertons with their own in-house security.
The officer encountered the suspect in a clearly marked restricted area several hundred yards from the site’s protected area, which houses the reactor and power production facilities, but still within the plant property.
When the officer confronted the person, “The individual fired on the officer, striking the officer’s vehicle,” said Hopson. “The officer returned fire, and as the officer was calling for backup, the individual fled the scene.”
Both parties fired multiple rounds, he added. The security officer was not hurt and, as of yet, authorities have found no evidence that the gunman was struck either, according to Hopson.
The FBI responded, along with personnel from the Rhea and Meigs County sheriff’s offices, who searched both sides of the lake for the suspect. The plant is located on the Rhea County side of the lake, south of Watts Bar Dam.
The TVA is a federally-owned corporation that provides electricity generation, navigation and flood control services throughout the Tennessee Valley and owns 11 coal-fired power plants, 3 nuclear stations, 11 natural gas-fired power plants and 29 hydroelectric plants.