(4/18/2008) - This morning at 4:37 central time a 5.2 magnitude earthquake shook southeastern Illinois. Illinois is home to six nuclear plants operated by Exelon and are located in the central and northern parts of the state. Here is a statement from Exelon on the earthquake and its nuclear plants:
None of Exelon Nuclear's six Illinois nuclear energy stations were affected by early morning seismic activity near the southern Illinois town of West Salem, the company said today.
Plant equipment continued to function normally at each of the six operating nuclear stations. Station operators and technical experts conducted extensive pre-planned inspections when the seismic activity occurred.
Operators performed "walk-downs" to search for potential effects and confirmed by this morning that the earthquake caused no damage to equipment or otherwise affected plant operations. Additional plant walk- downs are scheduled throughout the day. Each plant continued to operate at its normal power level throughout the morning.
Nuclear energy plants are designed specifically to withstand the impact of earthquakes and other severe acts of nature. The quake, reported to be at a magnitude of 5.2 in the Richter Scale, did not challenge the engineered design of any of the six plants. The epicenter was near West Salem, Illinois, about 80 miles east of St. Louis. The closest Exelon Nuclear facility is in Clinton in DeWitt County, about 140 miles north of West Salem.