August 23rd, 2011 16:28 EST
Earthquake Shuts Down Virginia Nuclear Power Plant
"A 5.9 earthquake in Virginia was felt in Washington, New York City and North Carolina is afternoon. Buildings swayed, and damage reports began trickling in within minutes of the largest quake in Virginia in more than a century.
The quake rocked Virginia at 1:51 p.m., and authorities said the epicenter appeared to be in Louisa County, about 40 miles northwest of Richmond. The epicenter is not far from Dominion Virginia Power`s North Anna nuclear plant, where the earthquake knocked out power, but the utility manually shut down both nuclear units without incident and no damage was apparent, the utility said."
The recent earthquake that rocked Japan proved how vulnerable nuclear plants are to earthquakes.
Most residents of the small town of Virginia where I live, shook their heads at the devastation but didn`t believe that the nuclear disaser in Japan could ever happen here.
Today`s strong earthquake has reminded us once again that a quake can strike anywhere at anytime. The epicenter of today`s quake was only a few miles from the North Anna nuclear plant in Virginia.
Most of the nuclear plants in America were built decades ago, and they are vulnerable to natural disasters and acts of terror.
The nuclear plants in Virginia lost on-site power, but the back-up generators kicked in.
I hope that today`s earthquake will serve as a wake-up call to those who think that nuclear power is the answer to our energy crisis.
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