Skip to main content

NRC Discusses Preliminary Results from North Anna Inspections

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a public meeting yesterday to discuss its team’s preliminary inspection results on how the North Anna nuclear plant withstood the August 23 earthquake that rippled throughout the East Coast and the adequacy of the plant’s response.

What did they find?

David Heacock, Dominion’s president and chief nuCaptureclear officer, explains in a short video clip at the meeting:

The plant operated as designed with a few minor equipment problems and the people did a fantastic job operating the plant and safely shutting it down.

Each nuclear plant in the United States is built to safely withstand an earthquake—North Anna is no exception. But Heacock explains how having an additional safety margin helped the plant when the unexpected quake struck.

These plants were designed for a seismic event about the size of this seismic event, but for a much longer duration. Duration is very important. As duration gets longer, more and more energy gets imparted upon the plant. This event lasted about three seconds for the strong shaking, but we’re designed for a minimum of 15 seconds of strong shaking. So this is really about 20 percent of the energy the plant is designed to take.

Next steps: Starting tomorrow for about a 10-day period, the NRC will have a five-member crew conducting a thorough inspection at the site to ensure that all equipment is available and that there isn’t damage to safety equipment before the plant restarts. Last Friday the NRC outlined its post-earthquake requirements, which Dominion must meet before the plant is allowed to restart.

For more information, check out the NRC’s website where you can find current actions at the plant, a chronology of events, and frequently asked questions.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…

Innovation Fuels the Nuclear Legacy: Southern Nuclear Employees Share Their Stories

Blake Bolt and Sharimar Colon are excited about nuclear energy. Each works at Southern Nuclear Co. and sees firsthand how their ingenuity powers the nation’s largest supply of clean energy. For Powered by Our People, they shared their stories of advocacy, innovation in the workplace and efforts to promote efficiency. Their passion for nuclear energy casts a bright future for the industry.

Blake Bolt has worked in the nuclear industry for six years and is currently the work week manager at Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia. He takes pride in an industry he might one day pass on to his children.

What is your job and why do you enjoy doing it?
As a Work Week Manager at Plant Hatch, my primary responsibility is to ensure nuclear safety and manage the risk associated with work by planning, scheduling, preparing and executing work to maximize the availability and reliability of station equipment and systems. I love my job because it enables me to work directly with every department on the plant…