08 Sep '11, 12pm

When an Earthquake Shuts a Reactor

When an Earthquake Shuts a Reactor

Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times The North Anna nuclear power station in Mineral, Va., was near a quake’s epicenter. One of the revelations emerging in Dominion’s continuing inspections of its quake-shaken North Anna nuclear plant in Mineral, Va., is just why its reactors shut down. Oddly, modernization of the plant, which is filled with devices that were state-of-the-art for the 1970s, may have played a role in the events there. As I report in Thursday’s Times , Dominion has found what seems to be mostly cosmetic damage and hopes to prove to the satisfaction of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the plant’s two reactors are safe to restart. North Anna shut down moments after the Aug. 23 quake. Initially, managers said that the earthquake, whose epicenter was only about 10 miles from North Anna’s reactors, caused a circuit breaker on a transformer to open, cuttin...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/08/when-an-earthqu...

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