Norman A. Zigrossi, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Washington field office, will become the first inspector general of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

After more than 23 years with the FBI, Zigrossi said he will begin work at the TVA's Knoxville office on Jan. 27.

The FBI has not announced a replacement.

Congressional sources said the TVA decided to create the job following investigations by several House subcommittees into allegations of widespread failures by the TVA to comply with Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations.

In addition, congressional investigators said they have been looking into reports of TVA harassment of whistle blowers who have complained about lax enforcement procedures.

Four years ago, NRC officials described the TVA atomic power program as the "pacesetter" for the nation, with plans for 17 reactors in three states providing 40 percent of the power for the Tennessee Valley.

But the TVA is now operating no nuclear plants. Eight were abandoned during construction and several have been shut down because of concern by the NRC over safety problems. The TVA has been fined more than $1 million because of safety violations at the nuclear plants.

Zigrossi, who has headed the FBI office here since March 1984, said he made his decision after being approached by the TVA to serve as the chief auditor and investigator in the 38,000-employe agency.

U.S. Attorney Joseph E. DiGenova praised Zigrossi's efforts to increase cooperation between local FBI agents and prosecutors.