“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

Published: August 24th, 2011 at 1:55 pm ET


Quake sensors removed around Virginia nuke plant due to budget cuts, Raw Story, August 23, 2011:

[…] According to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME), the Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory (VTSO) removed all seismographs from around the plant in the 1990s due to budget cuts. […]

Virginia Nuclear Plant Gets Closer Look, Wall Street Journal, August 24, 2011:

[…] “We’re still evaluating the information that’s coming in regarding the epicenter and the strength of the quake and all of the instrumentation that’s at North Anna,” [NRC spokesman Scott Burnell] said. “We’re determining what sort of forces North Anna dealt with.” […]

Published: August 24th, 2011 at 1:55 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Strong aftershock jolts quake-hit Virginia reactors — Epicenter in same county as North Anna nuke plant September 1, 2011
  2. Experts concerned about North Anna: “Uncomfortably close” to maximum quake that nuke plant was designed to withstand August 24, 2011
  3. Containment structure to be checked for possible quake damage at Virginia nuke plant — Reactors must attain cold shutdown before inspections begin August 25, 2011
  4. NYT: North Anna nuke plant in situation that no US reactor has ever faced before — NRC has no protocol to see if design held up after quake September 8, 2011
  5. Nuclear Engineer: If quake caused weakness at Virginia’s North Anna nuke plant, hurricane could take it rest of way to failure August 27, 2011

20 comments to “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

  • alasanon

    What’s the latest on Hurricane Irene??? I can’t keep up with all these disasters. Is it poised to be a Category 4? I saw predictions that it could slam the Northeast and rickety plants up there??

    I read that they restored power at North Anna just this afternoon! Yea!! *phew* Lucky break!

    • Darth

      It’s a curve ball – wide from home plate.

      The addicted gamblers continue to “roll the dice” with what Mother Nature can come up with and like this the play idiotic games with public safety.

    • They may think the more the better, this way you won’t see the Emperor with no clothes or what is really coming soon !

  • WindorSolarPlease

    Doesn’t sound like budget cuts, that involves Nuclear Plants, is a good idea.

    The only budget cut that sounds good to me, is closing down the nuclear plants.

  • alasanon


    I’m very grateful that the quake registered just under the maximum level to maintain the plant!!

    but, as I read in comments to the WSJ article, it’s way too dangerous to put people under these haphazard risks.

    We got lucky. That was a close one. I hope that any radiation/steam releases that can affect millions here will disperse… Wind is forecast to blow north today.

  • alasanon

    The (first) Battle of North Anna!!


    Amazing Civil War history & historic park trails!.. Being surrounded by so many battlefields, where tens of thousands of young men died makes you appreciate the immense sacrifices that occured over the past centuries to maintain such a huge, united country. Let’s not ever lose sight of that and put ourselves at such risk again!

  • theypoisonus

    “budget cuts” what hypocracy and more lies.

    I’m sorry, but if they already had the dam things, then what is the ‘upkeep cost’ ? I’m sure it is minimul compared to CEO/etc. salaries.

    Nuclear is a business.. stock holders, the works. More bull. imo

    do I sound cynical? I AM 🙂

  • Terranigma1 Terranigma1

    OT — Subject: Geiger Counters or Radmeters

    Where can I buy one from a reputable source? Can you recommend a particular one?

  • odylan

    Don’t be losing any sleep over today’s milder 2.8 quake at Sleepy Hollow (CA) – a mere shudder – the nearest nuke plant is 25 miles away. 😉

  • Has anyone been keeping track or hear if and when anything on were the riches people in the country have left town or are are moving ?

  • americancommntr

    This article brings up the thought, “Should any private business be in charge of an industrial facility which can kill millions of people and destroy millions of acres of land?”

    And we already know government should not be.

  • NeverAnyDanger

    Well I guess if the North Anna plant was built to withstand a 5.9-6.1 quake then there will never be a quake larger than this so why not take out the seismographs and save money?

    There has been so many reports lately about “minor” things going wrong at nuclear plants all over the country it’s beginning to sound like an epidemic.

    I decided to read up on the Callaway County nuclear plant in Mo. about 25 miles from where I live. It’s 200 miles from the New Madrid fault.

    Officials say that the plant is “earthquake” proof. And since it wasn’t the earthquake but the tsunami that destroyed Fukushima we don’t have to worry about damage to the reactor because we don’t have tsunamis here. Haven’t they been reading the news???

    Ameren, who owns the plant, is pushing to build another nuclear reactor at the same site. Sen. Mike Kehoe said Missouri’s energy future cannot be influenced by international events.

    “The unfortunate incident in Japan has not changed the fact that coal is very expensive so the way we produce power in this state is, unfortunately, not going to be changed by what happens globally.”

    So the nuclear industry’s plans or policies aren’t going to be influenced or changed by what happens in the world. Nice attitude.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    North Anna Nuclear Reactors Only Designed to Withstand 5.9 – 6.1 Magnitude Earthquake
    “Bob Alvarez, a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) who with support from POGO authored a recent report on the dangers associated with how the majority of nuclear spent fuel is stored in the U.S., just sent the following in an email regarding this afternoon’s earthquake felt across the East Coast:
    “An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale just occurred less than a hour ago. It’s epicenter was in Mineral, VA—approximately 10 miles from two nuclear power reactors at the North Anna site. According to a representative of Dominion Power, the two reactors were designed to withstand a 5.9-6.1 quake. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) ranked the North Anna Reactors as being 7th in the nation in terms of earthquake risks.
    “Control rods are automatically inserted to halt a reactor, if it is impacted by an earthquake. However It is reported that the North Anna reactors were shut down and is operating with back-up diesel generators. The failure to remove reactor decay heat is what led to severe accidents at the Fukusima nuclear site on Japan. It is not clear, at this time, what damage might have been sustained at the nuclear site….”

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      More about spent fuel pools, North Anna:

      “The spent fuel pools at North Anna contain 4-5 times more than their original designs intended. As in Japan, all U.S. power nuclear power plant spent fuel pools do not have steel lined, concrete barriers that cover reactor vessels to prevent the escape of radioactivity. They are not required to have back-up generators to keep used fuel rods cool, if offsite power is lost. Even though they contain these very large amount of radioactivity, spent reactor fuel pools in the U.S. are mostly contained in ordinary industrial structures designed to protect them against the elements.”

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      MORE; approx. 30 times worse than Chernobyl:

      “Nearly 40 percent of the radioactivity in the North Anna spent fuel pools is cesium-137—a long-lived radioisotope that gives off potentially dangerous penetrating radiation and also accumulates in food over a period of centuries. The North Anna Pools hold about 15-30 times more Cs-137 than was released by the Chernobyl accident in 1986. In 2003, IPS helped lead a study warning that drainage of a pool might cause a catastrophic radiation fire, which could render an area uninhabitable greater than that created by the Chernobyl accident.”

  • jwfuki

    I keep seeing that the plant is designed to handle a 5.9-6.1 magnitude quake.

    Every .2 increase on the richter scale means an increase of TWICE the released energy.

    So is it 5.9, or 6.1?

    HUGE difference in my opinion.

    • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

      Dear jwfuki: Neither of those figures are meaningful in terms of realistic or meaningful nuke plant design tolerances. Some intelligent soul earlier mentioned what the actual problem, engineering wise, is for nuke reactor architecture safety. The problem with earthquakes and nuke plants is “ground acceleration.” I’ve read about this myself from a case study on the July 16, 2007 6.8 magnitude quake at Kashiwazaki Kariwa, also causing some sort of meltdown, which like Three-Mile Island, also did not result in an obvious explosion or obvious outward physical breach of the containment building (easier to maintain a solid blackout) though highly radioactive steam/air was released in quantity during that event for probably spuriously reported durations. Low level releases from Three Mile Island are likely ongoing or previous releases are still causing cancer clusters in the vicinity of the plant despite the best efforts of those who abridge media to say otherwise. The ground acceleration at Kashiwazaki Kariwa was exceeded by more than 100% and, it turned out, that the actual hypocenter and epicenter were directly beneath the nuke station there. It also turns out that Kashiwazaki Kariwa is built directly atop a convergance fault system between two of the FOUR tectonic plates that make up the nation of Japan.

  • Jebus Jebus

    Interesting MSM info….w/Video

    Brian Todd takes you inside Virginia nuclear plant