Dam Safety Rehabilitation of the T.V.A. Nickajack Hydroelectric Project

by Vann A. Newell, Tennessee Valley Authority, Chattanooga, United States,
Harry A. Manson, Tennessee Valley Authority, Chattanooga, United States,
Charles D. Wagner, Tennessee Valley Authority, Chattanooga, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources


Safety of its dams has always been of great concern to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The agency has throughout its history enforced conservative designs, good construction practices, and good operating procedures including routine inspections. Beginning in the middle 1960's, TVA began an intensified reevaluation of the safety of its dams, especially in regard to older dams built by private power companies and obtained by TVA in the late 1930's. Special emphasis was placed on spillway capacity since hydrologic data and flood criteria has been refined in recent times. After the failure of the Bureau of Reclamation's Teton Dam in 1976, a Federal directive on Dam Safety Guidelines was published in 1979. In response to the directive and guidelines, TVA initiated a program to review its existing dams for conformance to present-day criteria. Nickajack Dam was one of 21 dams identified for review. The review showed Nickajack to be a high hazard dam due to the loss of life and the significant downstream property damage that would occur if the dam were to fail.

Subject Headings: Dam failures | Dam safety | Rehabilitation | Hydro power | Freight transportation | Hydrologic data | History | Inspection | Tennessee | United States

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