Skip to comments.Nuclear Plant Near Epicenter Shuts Down
Posted on 08/23/2011 12:42:13 PM PDT by matt04
A nuclear power plant located in Louisa County, the epicenter of the earthquake in Virginia, has shut down.
The North Anna Power Station, operated by Dominion Power, has two reactors. The plant declared an "unusual event" in the wake of the 5.9 magnitude quake, which is the lowest stage on the plant's emergency scale.
As a result, the plant has been shut down.
The AP reports the plant is being run off of four emergency diesel generators, which are supplying power for critical safety equipment.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Roger Hannah says the agency was not immediately aware of any damage at nuclear power plants in the southeast.
(Excerpt) Read more at nbcwashington.com ...
The North Anna reactors are of the Westinghouse Pressurized Water design and went on line in 1979 and 1980 respectively. Since then the reactors have generated approximately 1,200 metric tons of nuclear spent fuel containing about 228,000 curies of highly radioactive materialsamong the largest concentrations of radioactivity in the United States.
Most likely shutdown on loss of offsite power than due to damage from the earthquake. Most plants will have to declare a Notification of Unusual Event (NUE) for just having felt the earthquake - gets the reviews and evaluations going. At some level, plants will shutdown automatically for a seismic even - levels depend on what the plant is designed for.
I’ll bet the guy who was sitting in that chair isn’t laughing now!
An Alert at North Anna Power Station; Reactors Shut Down Safely, No Damage Reported
RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power declared an Alert at the North Anna Power Station in Mineral, Va., following an earthquake in Central Virginia. The reactors have been shut down safely and no major damage has been reported.
The station declared an Alert, the next to the lowest of the four emergency classifications of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Both reactors have been shut down. The emergency diesel generators started as off-site power from the electric grid was lost. No release of radioactive material has occurred beyond those minor releases associated with normal station operations.
The earthquake was felt at the company's other Virginia nuclear power station, Surry Power Station in southeast Virginia, but not as strongly. Both units at Surry continue to operate safely.
The earthquake also caused the company's newest power station, Bear Garden in Buckingham County, to shut down automatically.
U.S. nuclear power stations, including Dominion's four stations, were built to seismic standards for their regions.
Dominion (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Va., is one of the nation's largest producers of energy. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at www.dom.com.
2 nuclear reactors taken offline after Va. quake
Federal officials say two nuclear reactors at the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County, Va., were automatically taken off line by safety systems around the time of the earthquake.
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.
...Hannah said he knew of no other shut reactor but that unusual events were reported at a dozen other plant sites.
Suppose that they had not used the word major -- If it were later determined that a coffee cup had fallen off someone's desk and cracked, the anti-nuke folks, along with the media, would be screaming COVER-UP!!! for Dominion's initially having failed to disclose the "damage".
Appears that 1 of the 4 backup generators has failed. Do not know if that was due to earthquake damage or not. This quake was right at the earthquake rating level for this plant, from what I can tell. So there will be some damage. That is guaranteed.
We had a few things fall over or down or “Off” here in Loudon County south of Dulles airport. I thought it was a jet not making it to the runway!
Friends live in Mineral, on Lake Anna near the power plant, and have not reached them yet...summer home so maybe not there today.
Excellent posts with the updated information. No power from the grid and 1 of 4 back-up generators has failed.
Presumably they were running 4 generators because they needed 4 generators, and not just for the hell of it. Now they have 3.
Wonder what broke that seems like it was not major, and whether it will seem more important later on.
No other power reactors shut automatically, or scrammed, said Diane Screnci, another NRC spokeswoman. Fourteen other nuclear plants declared a Notification of Unusual Event, but remained in operation, she said. These are:
--Carolina Power & Light's Shearon Harris-1, North Hill, North Carolina
--Constellation's Calvert Cliffs-1 and -2, Lusby, Maryland
--Dominion Power's Surry-1 and -2, Surry, Virginia
--Entergy's Palisades, Covert, Michigan
--Exelon's Oyster Creek-1, Forked River, New Jersey
--Exelon's Limerick-1, Limerick, Pennsylvania
--Exelon's Peach Bottom-1 and -2, Delta, Pennsylvania
--Exelon's Three Mile Island-1, Middletown, Pennsylvania
--Exelon's Oyster Creek-1, Forked River, New Jersey
--Exelon's Limerick-1, Limerick, Pennyslvania
--PPL's Susquehanna-1 and -2 Salem Township, Pennsylvania
--PSEG's Salem-1 and -2, and Hope Creek-1 and -2, Hancocks Bridge, New Jersey
--Indiana Michigan Power's Donald C. Cook-1 and 2, Bridgman, Michigan
Yes. By the media. For the plant, it was a builtin failsafe: “Both reactors tripped automatically at the time of the quake and shut down.” Even the article says so.
Automatic shutdown procedure. NO need for a helicopter
Meanwhile the cops are probably out rounding up guns door-to-door, “Just to be safe.”
I would assume that they have redundancy built into the system, where when the power goes out all the generators start up even thou they don’t need all four. That way if one does fail, their is no delay until the next one comes online. Also they must account for the fact that at some point they must take one off line at a time to change the oil, filters, etc.
Lenny Bruce is not afraid.
No. They’re both Westinghouse 4 loop PWRs.
Better! Thanks. Last report I heard all was going well on the shutdown of at least four plants.
They are not running 4 generators because they need 4 generators. They’re running 4 generators because the procedure says to run 4 generators. They only need one per reactor, and I’d bet they have a way of cross connecting them to only really need 1 for both. Even if off site power is restored, the procedure probably still calls for them to run. Once off site power is restored, they won’t need them at all.
On whose part? Frankly, they did the right thing by shutting down and going to the DG’s. They lost offsite power, meaning even though they were up, there was no way of knowing for how long they’d be able to STAY up. Best to place the plant in a safe condition and go with what you know.