East Coast Earthquake Knocks Power Out At Virginia Nuke Plant, Others On Alert

The North Anna Power Plant

The disaster at the Fukushima power plant in Japan highlighted an important danger inherent in nuclear power plants, as the devastating earthquake there threatened the surrounding area with the spread of radiation.

Now, multiple news outlets are reporting possible incidents at nuclear power plants across the east coast following the surprising earthquake this afternoon.
The North Anna Power Station near Richmond, Virginia lost offsite power and is now using diesel generators:

A nuclear power plant in central Virginia has lost offsite power in the wake of a 5.8 earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., U.S. nuclear officials said. […] The North Anna Power Station, which has two nuclear reactors, is now using four diesel generators to maintain cooling operations. The plant automatically shut down in the wake of the earthquake.

In York, Pensylvannia, two nuclear power plants have been placed on low-level alert:

Two area nuclear-powered plants declared low-level alerts Tuesday afternoon after tremors from an earthquake in Virginia rattled some local communities.

Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station and Three Mile Island in Dauphin County both declared an unusual event, said David Tillman, a spokesman for Peach Bottom.

A spokesperson for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that “several of the 26 reactors in the region declared an unusual event due to the quake, but no significant damage was reported.”


Raw Story notes that the North Anna Power Station had all of its seismographs removed in the 1990s due to budget cuts.

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