back to article Nuke plant shut down after US earthquake

A strong earthquake with its epicenter in central Virgina has caused two nuclear reactors at Louisa County's 1,806 megawatt, two-unit North Anna Power Station to be automatically taken offline. According to the US Geological Survey, the quake was given a preliminary magnitude of 5.8, though some reports have upgraded it to 5.9 …


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  1. J 3


    Seriously!? I guess that, depending on the type of terrain it is on, it might be more concerning... I am 40 miles from the epicenter, and I didn't even leave my work building. At the 5th floor, we shook quite nicely, lighting fixtures moving, glassware tinkling in the lab shelves, but no need for panic... Buildings here will be inspected, as a precaution, but apart from a couple of walls in old houses, no other reports of damage have been made yet.

    1. Uncle Slacky


      IIRC, most of DC was a fetid swamp (some would argue that it still is). I wonder how good the monument's foundations are...

    2. Anonymous Coward

      This is why we have Viagra

      Keep it real, say no to the cheap imitations and generics made overseas.

      Here in the US, we keep our phallic shaped icons straight, strong and proud.

      Not like those I-talians and their leaning towers.

      Oh did I also mention we also have Enzyte too?

      1. Aaron Em

        That why the top's cracked?

        Good on you for waiting to hear the full story, tho.

  2. Mr_Pitiful

    this is a tit le

    Did I read this correctly

    Reactors shut down & backups running

    So no nuclear breach like in Japan

    Was the earthquake Middle East generated?

    Do the powers that be maybe have a GRAZER II satellite up there

    Tin Foil hat at the ready

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


      Let me guess..

      Gravitational Radiation through Zero-Point-Energy Resonances?

      "the White House and the halls of Congress were evacuated"

      And nothing of value was interrupted.

      1. Mips

        "the White House and the halls of Congress were evacuated"

        Thought they were pretty vacuous anyway.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          With all the hot air constantly being added,

          it's pretty near impossible to establish even a partial vacuum there...

          Congress and Parliament: the REAL sources of anthropomorphic global warming.

          1. Aaron Em


            Global warming is Bigfoot?

      2. Al42


        Read David Brins novel Earth...

        Its a Gravity Laser using miniture Black holes ...

        1. Annihilator

          re: Grazer

          Swing and a miss folks, see Under Siege 2: Dark Territories for details of a brilliantly obscure reference. It's a particle weapon equipped satelite that can target the subterranean levels of earth and cause earthquakes. Grazer (pronounced Grazier for some reason) One was destroyed at the end of the film. Apologies for lack of spoiler alert :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Middle East generated...

      You mean BoobQuake finally worked??

    3. Gary B.


      To be fair, there wasn't ALSO then a massive tsunami wave headed toward the reactors.

  3. Taters

    Tilting tower?

    Perhaps our monument needs a little help from our little blue friend...

  4. GumboKing

    Fox News Alert!

    Would it be a bigger story on Fox News if the Washington Monument was tilting left or tilting right?

    Tilting Right headline: God sends sign that you should vote Republican!

    Tilting Left head line: Liberal Commie quake forever scars DC landscape!

  5. Coulls

    Felt as far north as New England?

    We felt it up in Toronto, Canada...

  6. Stevie



  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2 cents

    Felt it in Central NY. It lasted a lot longer than our usual quakes. On the other hand, we could actually feel this one.

  8. laird cummings



    Fun ride while it lasted, but much too short, and no special effects to go with it.

    I rate it more of a 3.0 than a 5.9.

    'Course, I *am* a couple hundred miles away, too.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps they don't have seismic retrofits in DC

    But out here in Silicon Valley, evacuating major office buildings for a 5.9 gets you laughed at :)

    1. Aaron Em

      Are you kidding?

      They don't even have snowplows in DC.

    2. kain preacher

      Prepare to laugh

      I've worked at 2 places that did just that . One was ATT in San Ramon .

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Yes yes yes...

    ... but what about the Eurofighter??? Ah, um, different author!

    1. Hermes Conran

      yes, I was expecting Mr Page.....

      to explain how great this triumph is.

  11. elderlybloke

    That 5.8 or 5.9

    Richter scale , is not the scale that really matters.

    It is the Modified Mercalli scale that really counts.

    Also this is a region that concerns Seismologists ,as they think that the area is overdue of a good shake.

    The last lot was in 1811-1812 when there was a series of 8 or more that gave very heavy ground motions , but fortunately it was only sparsely populated then.

    NB. The Mississippi River course and grade was altered and flowed backwards briefly.

    1. Richard Pennington 1


      @elderlybloke - I think you are referring to the series of earthquakes at New Madrid - but those were a long way from Washington DC.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    on the emptying of the house and senate buildings

    Hooray, think of all of the money that those fools weren't able to spend.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually, I expect this will be an excuse to bump it up.

      Not entirely certain it would count as wasted, but they sent folks home early with pay, anywhere from 2 to 5 hours per person for all the federal agencies in the DC metropolitan area.

      Plus, this is now a good reason/excuse to retrofit all the federal buildings in the area for Cali style earthquakes. That should be good for tens of billions in "emergency" spending.

  13. chuBb.

    surely should be in gigawatts?

    1,806 megawatt or 1.8 Gigawatts more than enough for a delorian....

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if this has anything to do w. fracking that might be going on in that area?

    No further comment.

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