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Virginia's North Anna Nuclear Plant Reports Leak In Steam Line

North Anna Nuclear Power Plant

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 01/03/12 02:24 PM ET Updated: 01/03/12 05:17 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- The North Anna nuclear power plant in Virginia's Louisa County started powering back up Tuesday after a steam line that feeds a reactor turbine began leaking on Monday.

As WTOP reports, the North Anna plant, which automatically shut down following the August 2011 5.8 magnitude earthquake, was operating at 4 percent capacity as repairs were made following Monday's incident.

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, there was no radiation leak.

As the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports:

The repairs were quickly completed, and workers began powering Unit 1 back up, NRC spokesman Joey Ledford said. Unit 1 was operating at 8 percent this morning, he said.

Richard Zuercher, a spokesman for Richmond-based Dominion [Virginia Power], said the utility expects Unit 1 to be back at full power soon.

Unit 2 at North Anna, some 45 miles northwest of Richmond, remains operating at full power.

The North Anna plant, located roughly 90 miles southwest of the nation's capital, saw minor damage from last year's earthquake and experienced ground motion that was about twice for what the power generation facility was designed for. Additionally, 25 nuclear storage containers shifted slightly during the seismic event but were not damaged.

The Aug. 23 quake's epicenter was about 11 miles away from North Anna, which also sits adjacent to an ancient fault line -- a fact that was covered up by power officials and federal regulators in the 1970s.

After being offline for much of the fall, North Anna's reactors returned to full power in late November.

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A helicopter flies close to the Washington Monument to survey its exterior for damage after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the East Coast on Aug. 23. Photo by Getty Images.
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