NRC: Unusual Event Declarations Cancelled, No Damage Found At Nuclear Plants After Va. Earthquake

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and reactor operators have given power plants within range of Tuesday’s earthquake a clean bill of health.

All 12 facilities that declared an unusual event, the lowest of the NRC’s emergency designations, have dropped those declarations and continue to operate normally. External power was restored Tuesday evening at the two-unit North Anna plant close to the earthquake’s epicenter in Virginia, with an alert at the plant downgraded to an unusual event by Wednesday morning and then cancelled altogether. In light of North Anna’s proximity to the epicenter, the NRC indicated in a release Wednesday that it will soon “decide whether to conduct a follow-up inspection, aimed at determining how the quake compares to what the plant was designed to withstand.”

At other plants, walkdowns by resident inspectors yesterday did not turn up any problems, an NRC spokeswoman told media outlets. The agency also confirmed that nuclear materials at medical and industrial facilities along the East Coast were secure following the earthquake.

In Pennsylvania, Susquehanna unit 2 resumed generation Tuesday night. It had shut down automatically during testing Friday because of a wiring problem in a digital control system, PPL officials said in a release. Plant operators delayed restarting the unit to allow for an inspection following the quake.

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