08/23/2011 04:00 pm ET Updated Oct 24, 2011

Virginia nuclear plant shut after quake, others unaffected

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A magnitude 5.9 earthquake on the U.S. East Coast on Tuesday forced the shutdown of two nuclear reactors at a Virginia power plant, but other nuclear power plants on the Eastern Seaboard were unaffected and operating normally.

A nuclear power plant operated by Dominion Resources' was shut after the earthquake, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Two reactors at the North Anna Station in Mineral, Virginia were stopped, the NRC said. The plant lost off-site power, but diesel generators are operating, the spokesman said.

The Virginia shutdown came automatically after the strong quake in the region. The shutdown was safe and represented no danger to the public, the NRC said.

The quake was felt along the East Coast as far north as Canada.

Dominion's two-unit Surry plant in Gravel, Virginia, continues to operate normally.

Entergy's Indian Point nuclear power plant located north of New York city was operating normally, a spokesman for the company said.

Nine other plants in the region between Virginia and New Jersey declared an "unusual event", the lowest of the NRC's emergency classification ratings, but all continued to operate at full power.

(Reporting by Eileen O'Grady, Jeanine Prezioso, Eileen Moustakis, David Sheppard, and Janet McGurty. Writing by Joshua Schneyer.)