Nuclear waste casks shifted during quake

The 5.8-magnitude earthquake that shook the East Coast August 23 moved nuclear waste casks as much as 4.5 inches at Dominion’s 1,953 MWe North Anna nuclear power plant in Virginia.

Reuters reported that 25 casks, each 16 feet tall and weighing 115 tons, shifted on a concrete pad. Both units at the plant have been shut down since the quake hit August 23 as inspectors check for damage. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is doing a special review because shaking from the quake may have exceeded the plant’s design rating.

NRC regulations require that North Anna not start up until it can demonstrate that no functional damage occurred features needed for continued safe operation.

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