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North Anna: Still No Answers to UNPRECEDENTED Nuclear Reactor Shutdown in VA

Buster Brown
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09/05/2011 12:34 PM
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North Anna: Still No Answers to UNPRECEDENTED Nuclear Reactor Shutdown in VA
Dominion Virginia Power officials are working to discover exactly what caused the North Anna nuclear reactors to trip off line in the Aug. 23 earthquake.

Knowing precisely what prompted the shutdown of the station's two 980-megawatt reactors is critical for validating the safety of the plant's design.

"We felt the shaking (in) the control room," said Unit 1 senior reactor operator Jason Russell, 30, of Henrico County. "I thought we may have ruptured a steam pipe in our turbine building."

Realizing that whatever was happening could affect the plant, Russell said, he immediately told his reactor operators to bring their reactor off line.

"By the time the operators reached for the switches, the (automatic system) shutdown was already over."

The powerful magnitude 5.8 quake's epicenter was 11 miles from the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County.

The quake shut down the plant's two reactors, an unprecedented event in the United States.

[link to www2.timesdispatch.com]
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