The USGS is reporting that a minor earthquake struck Maine near the town of Lake Arrowhead shortly after 7:00 p.m. this evening. The nuclear power plant closest to the epicenter of the quake, Seabrook, which is in the midst of a refueling outage, declared an unusual event in response. The following is an official statement from NextEra Energy, the owner of the plant:
This evening, by procedure, Seabrook Station declared an unusual event due to the seismic activity felt throughout the region. An unusual event is the lowest of four Nuclear Regulatory Commission emergency classifications.Thanks to the team at NextEra Energy for getting out the word.
The plant has been and is currently shut down in a planned refueling outage. There has been no impact to the plant from the earthquake and our outage activities have not been affected in any way. We expect to exit from the unusual event shortly.
By way of background, Seabrook is designed to withstand the strongest earthquake ever experienced in New England, and then some.