NRC: No Damage at Quake Plant

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 @ 03:10 PM gHale

Ever since the 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook a nuclear plant outside Richmond, VA, in August it remained shut down cooling its heels, but an inspection team for the U.S. nuclear regulator said early this week it found no significant damage.

That was the good news; the bad news is the North Anna power plant in Virginia needs more evaluation.

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) team said the plant’s safety system functions maintained their functionality and the plant’s staff reacted in a manner that protected public health and safety.

Still, the team said there were some issues that needed further review. The team said the found some “anomalies” on safety-related equipment and will need more evaluation.

The August quake marked the first time an operating U.S. nuclear plant experienced a tremor that exceeded its design parameters, meaning ground motion was stronger than what the plant was built to withstand.

On Friday, the NRC said it had sent Dominion a letter laying out the requirements for the restart of the plant.

The letter said Dominion will have to submit paperwork responding to the commission’s questions about the safety of restarting the plant.

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