Nuclear Plants

August 25, 2011 by  
Filed under General Information, Social & Economic Impacts

From: “Once-a-century earthquake rattles East Coast”, Reuters, Lily Kuo and Malathi Nayak

Nuclear safety fears grew when one of four emergency diesel generators at the North Anna nuclear power plant in Virginia stopped working due to the quake.

But the plant’s safety systems remained powered by three operating generators, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said. The plant was built to withstand a quake of 6.1 magnitude.

From: “5.8-magnitude quake shakes central Virginia, East Coast”, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Wesley P. Hester

The epicenter is not far from Dominion Virginia Power’s North Anna nuclear plant, where the earthquake knocked out power, but the utility manually shut down both nuclear units without incident and no damage was apparent, the utility said.

“We did lose on-site power, but all the diesel generators are up and running,” Dominion spokesman Richard Zuercher said 30 minutes after the quake. “Everything appears to be operating just fine.”

From: “Earthquake reported along the East Coast”, Washington Post

Dominion Virginia Power declared an alert at the North Anna Power Station in Mineral, Va., following the earthquake. Officials said both reactors shut down safely and no major damage had been reported.

The alert is the lowest of the four emergency classifications of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Officials said no release of radioactive material occurred beyond the minor releases associated with normal station operations.

Constellation Energy, the Baltimore-based utility and power company, said that it declared an “unusual event” at its two Calvert Cliffs, Md. nuclear power plants, the lowest of four levels of emergency. Both units continue operating at 100 percent of capacity and are “stable,” company spokesman Mark Sullivan said in an email, but the company was stepping up monitoring and inspections of its facilities.

As a precaution, the company’s Candler building in Baltimore was evacuated.

Neither of the company’s other nuclear power plants — Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in Scriba, NY and R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in Ontario, N.Y. — registered abnormal seismic activity on their monitoring equipment, Sullivan said.


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