Federal regulators said Friday that a Virginia nuclear power plant that shut down as a result of an August earthquake must remain closed until the plant operator shows it can run safely.
Two nuclear reactors at the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County, Va., shut down and lost offsite power after a magnitude-5.8 earthquake shook the East Coast Aug. 23.
NRC sent Dominion a letter Friday outlining the actions that must be taken before the North Anna plant can continue operating. The letter says that the plant will remain closed until Dominion is able to show “that no functional damage occurred to those features necessary for continued operation without undue risk to the health and safety of the public.”
“We’re reviewing Dominion’s information to ensure North Anna’s systems will be able to keep the public safe and the plant won’t start up again until we’re satisfied on that point,” Eric Leeds, director of the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, said in a statement Friday. “We’re working diligently on coming to a technically sound decision.”
The August earthquake and resulting shutdown of the North Anna plant reignited the debate in Washington over the adequacy of nuclear safety regulations.