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Virginia Power Plant Loses Power After Quake
A nuclear power plant in central Virginia has lost offsite power in the wake of a 5.9 earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., U.S. nuclear officials said.
The North Anna Power Station, which has two nuclear reactors, is now using four diesel generators to maintain cooling operations. The plant automatically shut down in the wake of the earthquake.
"As far as we know, everything is safe," said Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman David McIntyre.
There are seven additional nuclear plants that have declared unusual events, which is the lowest of four emergency situations, the NRC said.
Those plants are located in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
What are the risks of an earthquake beneath a reactor near you?
Event underscores delay by NRC in revising understated seismic risks to nuclear plants
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said two reactors were taken off line near Lake Anna in central Virginia, near the epicenter of Tuesday's earthquake, which shook buildings up and down the east coast. Seven other plants, including some in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, declared "unusual events" requiring further scrutiny.
The NRC, in an April inspection meant to identify potential risks from an earthquake at the North Anna Power Station, urged a number of fixes to earthquake "vulnerabilities" it found there. Specifically, the NRC report notes that portions of water and gaseous suppression systems and hose stations "are not seismically designed."
The report warned that "potential leakage can occur through penetrations following seismic event."
The NRC, in a May 13 letter to Virginia Electric Power Co., asked the company to report back on potential "mitigation strategies." The NRC stated in its letter that it was trying to "promptly assess" the capabilities of the nuclear plant "to respond to extraordinary consequences similar to those that have recently occurred at the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Station."
Virginia Earthquake 2011: USGS Warns it May be a Foreshock
"What the concern is, of course, is that this is a foreshock. If it's a foreshock, then the worst is yet to come"
Originally posted by CranialSponge
A little shaky shaky and just like that, the friggin power goes out at a nuclear plant, forcing backup generators to kick in.
Anyone still questioning the vulnerability of power grids connecting to these damn ticking time bombs ?!
When you look at it from a more realistic point of view, Fukishima didn't have a hope in hell against mother nature... Nor does any other nuclear plant on the globe.
What the hell have we done to ourselves ?
Earth-friendly clean green energy my a$$.
Emergency diesel generator fails
The Dominion-operated power plant is being run off three emergency diesel generators, which are supplying power for critical safety equipment. The NRC and Dominion are sending people to inspect the plant.
A fourth diesel generator failed, but it wasn't considered an emergency because the other generators are working, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
t turns out that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has calculated the odds of an earthquake causing catastrophic failure to a nuclear plant here. Each year, at the typical nuclear reactor in the U.S., there's a 1 in 74,176 chance of an earthquake strong enough to cause damage to the reactor's core, which could expose the public to radiation. No tsunami required. That's 10 times more likely than you winning $10,000 by buying a single ticket in the Powerball multistate lottery, where the chance is 1 in 723,145.