The shooting forced TVA officials to declare a security emergency at the plant, placing it on immediate lockdown.
TVA says the Watts Bar security officer was on his routine patrol just before 2 a.m., monitoring plant property that borders the Tennessee River, when he noticed a boat in the water at the bottom of a boat ramp that leads up to the plant.
It was after he confronted him that officials say the boater shot multiple times at the officer, who then fired back and called for backup.
By the time assistance arrived, the man had sped away.
The plant, which already has tight security measures, went into an immediate heightened state of security.
“We went into our emergency plan and entered into our lowest level into our lowest level of emergency, called an unusual event,” said TVA Senior Vice President Don Jernigan, head of Nuclear Support Services.
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