The 5.8-magnitude trembler began at 1:51 p.m., EST, 5 miles south-southwest of Mineral, Va. one year ago today. The epicenter was about 11 miles from North Anna nuclear power plant. Both reactors were shut down safely following the earthquake, and backup systems functioned as planned.
Dominion immediately began a program of inspections, testing and analysis to make sure the nuclear station was undamaged and capable of being safely restarted. The program involved more than 100,000 man-hours of work and cost more than $21 million, plus the use of numerous outside seismic and engineering experts.
The NRC concluded that Dominion acceptably demonstrated that no functional damage occurred at North Anna to those features necessary for continued operation, and that North Anna, Units 1 and 2, can be operated without undue risk to the health and safety of the public.
Nuclear power plants are built to withstand environmental hazards, including earthquakes. Even those plants that are located outside of areas with extensive seismic activity are designed for safety in the event of such a natural disaster. The NRC requires that safety-significant structures, systems, and components be designed to take into account the most severe natural phenomena historically reported for the site and surrounding area.
Search Nuclear Street for more information: North Anna and Earthquake
Dominion just released this video for the one year anniversary of the earthquake.
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