Three months later, a nuclear power plant that has been shut down since it automatically tripped offline during an August earthquake will finally be allowed to restart.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued this document today, announcing that Dominion Virginia Power, which runs the North Anna nuclear plant’s two nuclear reactors, has sufficiently proven the safety of the plant.
“We’ve asked Dominion dozens of detailed questions, and our experts have examined Dominion’s answers as well as information from our own inspections. We’re satisfied the plant meets our requirements to restart safely, and we’ll monitor Dominion’s ongoing tests and inspections during startup of both reactors,” said Eric Leeds, director of the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
In early October, the NRC delayed the plant’s restart, citing the finding of an inspection team that, in early September, found that 25 of the plant’s 27 steel dry cask storage containers had moved several inches during the quake.
At the time, Dominion insisted the delay was procedural and was no cause for alarm.
“In multiple, detailed inspections, we have found no significant damage at North Anna caused by the quake. We will continue to work with the NRC as it performs its necessary inspections,” Dominion Director of Media Relations Jim Norvelle told Breaking Energy at the time.
With the green light, the NRC also outlined several future actions Dominion Power will be required to take in response to the August 23 earthquake and in preparation for any future natural disaster, including various risk assessment reports and equipment re-evaluations.