Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nuclear plant just 10 miles from epicentre shut down because of safety fears - 23rd Aug 2011

A nuclear power plant in Louisa County, ten miles from the epicentre of the earthquake, has been shut down.

Federal officials said two nuclear reactors at the North Anna Power Station were automatically taken off line by safety systems around the time of the earthquake.

The power plant was only built to withstand a magnitude 5.9 to 6.1 earthquake. Today's earthquake measured 5.8.

The plant lost the power that runs the reactors' cooling systems, but the plant's four emergency diesel generators were started to maintain power to the critical safety equipment.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission this year ranked the power plant, which employs around 1,000 people, as the seventh most at risk of earthquake damage in the country. Read More