5.8 Quake Hits Eastern US, Damage in DC, Nuclear Plant Loses Power

A 5.8 earthquake hit the eastern coast of the US this afternoon. This number may sound small compared to earthquakes on the west coast and in the Pacific. The eastern US does not have earthquake standards for buildings.

The quake was centered in Virginia but was felt as far away as Tennessee, Detroit MI and Pennsylvania. The National Cathedral in DC has damage and there is concern the Washington Monument may be leaning.  The park service is examining and has closed 1000 meters of the park.

10 nuclear power plants reported unusual events. The North Anna Nuclear power plant is 11 miles from the epicenter. North Anna lost outside power. The two reactor power plant is running on 3 of the 4 diesel generators. Being a newer nuclear plant, they are equipped with two back up generators per reactor. One of the back up generators failed and the back up generator picked up. Had there not been a second diesel generator North Anna would have been facing a potential melt down.

North Anna is also reporting they had to vent steam but claim no radiation was released. The quake also forced a newer reactor at Bear Garden to automatically shut down

Related articles:
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/08/23/general-us-east-coast-quake-reactors_8638626.html
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/08/23/virginia.quake.nuclear/
http://foxnewsinsider.com/2011/08/23/d-c-police-officer-theres-concern-that-washington-monument-may-be-tilting-following-5-9-magnitude-earthquake/
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/08/23/virginia.quake.nuclear/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/federal-officials-2-nuclear-reactors-taken-offline-near-quake-site-in-va-no-damage-reported/2011/08/23/gIQAKnwIZJ_story.html?tid=sm_twitter_washingtonpost

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