North Anna reactor has electrical issue, will operate next week

Michelle Basch,

WASHINGTON – The nuclear power plant in our region that automatically shut down during the 5.8 magnitude earthquake in August is going to take a little longer than planned to fully restart.

Unit 1 at the North Anna Power Station began producing electricity Tuesday, and Dominion Virginia Power had hoped Unit 2 would follow by Sunday.

That timeline has changed.

“North Anna Unit 2 hit a little snag, because of an electrical issue on equipment that allows operators to manipulate control rod drives in the reactor,” says Dominion’s Rick Zuercher.

Zuercher says the problem has been fixed and the restart is continuing. He expects Unit 2 to start producing power early next week.

“There are things that we’re doing that we don’t typically do when we normally restart a unit,” he says. “(We’re taking) extra care to make sure everything is working properly after the earthquake, and there really have been no significant issues at all.”

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the restart of the two reactors after tests revealed no functional damage from the August 23 earthquake.

The quake was centered in Mineral, Virginia, about 11 miles from the plant.

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