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Tornado watch issued for south Alabama, NRC flags 'chilled' work environment at TVA nuclear plant

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for much of south Alabama as storms move across the state.

The watch covers the Mobile area and the south central portion of Alabama until tonight at 7. The watch includes the western Florida Panhandle.

The weather service says severe weather will be possible from the Alabama-Tennessee line all the way to the Gulf Coast. Forecasters say winds up 70 mph and golf ball-sized hail will be possible with some of the storms.

The chances of strong storms are low in the Tennessee Valley region, but the weather is supposed to be worse to the south.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is saying employees at the Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant do not feel free to raise safety concerns out of feat of retaliation. A-P-R’s Stan Ingold has more…

The NRC has written a letter that gives the Tennessee Valley Authority 30 days to come up with a plan to address work environment concerns at the Watts Bar plant.

The NRC letter stressed that it found no serious safety issues at the plant near Spring City, Tennessee. However, it said that communication is being impeded because workers fear they will be punished for reporting safety issues.

A TVA official says the agency takes the allegations very seriously and needs employees to report any possible safety issues. TVA spokesman Jim Hopson says the agency is working "very aggressively" to fix the problem.

The Department of Veteran Affairs granted veterans a one year extension for healthcare applications.

The National Enrollment Improvement piloted an analysis that found a over five hundred thousand veterans had either incomplete or pending healthcare applications.

Matthew Eitutis is Director for VHA member services. He explains what the importance of the healthcare extension.

"Secretary McDonald has authorized an additional 365 days on their original 365 days in a good faith effort that represents the responsibility and obligation of the agency to make sure the veteran has the opportunity to provide any documentation that we don’t have access to."

 Veterans will be receiving a letter that will notify them that they are given the extended period to complete their healthcare application.

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