Nukes Get Check Up after Quake

Thursday, August 25, 2011 @ 02:08 PM gHale

While West Coasters may scoff at the earthquake that hit the East Coast this week, rest assured nuclear plants were not laughing at all as they scrambled to inspect their plants for any kind of damage.

Dominion Virginia Power said it completed an inspection of its earthquake-shaken nuclear power plant.

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The “walk-down” inspection allowed plant officials to lift the final emergency classification — a notification of an unusual event.

Dominion said the inspection involved equipment most susceptible to seismic activity. The utility said the equipment was in satisfactory condition. The 5.9-magnitude earthquake rattled the Louisa County plant on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said they found no major damage at the 12 nuclear power plant sites that got inspections but did not shut down following the earthquake.

NRC Northeast region spokeswoman Diane Screnci said they cancelled the “unusual event” status at the sites in an area that spans from North Carolina to Michigan.

She said their operators and NRC inspectors did not find problems during walk-downs of the plants and it appears there was no threat to public safety.

The sites that shook on Tuesday include New Jersey’s Oyster Creek plant, the nation’s oldest operating nuclear power plant.

The twin reactors at the North Anna facility near the Virginia epicenter did shut down.

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