NRC now sending ‘Augmented Inspection Team’ to quake-hit Virginia nuke plant — Does not ‘necessarily’ mean reactors are any less safe, stresses NRC

Published: August 30th, 2011 at 11:04 am ET


Nuclear Panel Expanding Team to Check for Quake Damage, New York Times, August 29, 2011:

The earthquake last Tuesday in Virginia may have produced stronger shaking at the North Anna nuclear plant than the reactors were designed to withstand, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has sent additional inspectors to determine what steps are needed to determine if there is damage. […]

Cases of reactors experiencing bigger ground motions than the designers had anticipated are rare, industry experts said.

The commission announced Monday that it was sending an “augmented inspection team,” which is expected to be on site for several weeks. Sending the team “should not be interpreted to mean that Dominion staff responded inappropriately or that the station is less safe as a result of the quake,” said Victor McCree, the commission’s administrator for the region that includes Virginia. […]

Regulators Calls for Further Investigation at Earthquake-Affected Plant in Virginia, ABC News, August 29, 2011:

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is sending more inspectors to a Virginia nuclear power plant to further review what damage last week’s 5.8 magnitude earthquake may have caused. […]

The NRC stressed that the expanded investigation does not necessarily mean the plant is any less safe, but they have formed an Augmented Inspection Team to conduct the investigation.

According to the NRC, an AIT is formed by the NRC “to review more significant events or issues at NRC-licensed facilities.” This is an additional investigation after the NRC initially sent a seismic expert and another structural expert, according to an NRC statement released Monday, to “assist the agency’s resident inspectors on site.” […]

Published: August 30th, 2011 at 11:04 am ET


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  1. “Augmented Inspection Team” is only used when risk of reactor core damage rises by 100 — AIT already at quake-hit North Anna nuke plant September 1, 2011
  2. Virginia nuke plant has lost offsite power after quake, generators being used to cool reactors — “As far as we know, everything is safe” says NRC August 23, 2011
  3. “Quake sensors removed around Virginia nuke plant due to budget cuts” — Spokesman: We’re still evaluating “all of the instrumentation that’s at North Anna” to determine forces reactors dealt with August 24, 2011
  4. Containment structure to be checked for possible quake damage at Virginia nuke plant — Reactors must attain cold shutdown before inspections begin August 25, 2011
  5. Dam at Virginia nuke plant inspected for damage after quake — Engineering experts had classified it as “high-hazard” August 25, 2011

11 comments to NRC now sending ‘Augmented Inspection Team’ to quake-hit Virginia nuke plant — Does not ‘necessarily’ mean reactors are any less safe, stresses NRC

  • Granny M

    Another VA quake this morning.

  • It may not be in a direct defect in the reactor or containment of reactor core but all plumbing may be at risk for leakage, expressly if another quake small or large may happen not to mention if any plumbing was weakened by stress may burst at any time when full pressure is ongoing !
    Any leakage may not be able to be contained if the concrete is cracked allowing for exit from the plant or internal contamination where as men would not be able to stay in areas to correct or attempt to correct any such leakage such as happen in Japan !

  • James2

    This is a good thing. In this case I agree with the NRC. If there is a problem with the reactor, then they should be able to find it,

    Whether you are here because you are against nuke plants or not, it is a fact of life that they exist and need to be inspected. Making a big deal about the inspection would discourage them from doing it.

  • Granny M

    Three VA quakes in last 24 hours:

  • Granny M

    Tropical storm Katia has 50/50 chance of hitting East Coast as hurricane, looks like 10 days or so out.

  • Flapdoodle Flapdoodle

    Augmented how? Better radiation protection?

  • alasanon

    Check and Double-check!! and then some!
    Keep in mind that NRC headquarters are in the vicinity!…along with their families and children….