North Anna reactor leak causes partial shutdown

Hank Silverberg,

WASHINGTON — A leak that forced the North Anna nuclear power plant in Central Virginia to temporarily shut down has been fixed.

A spokesman for the Nuclear Regulator Commission says a steam line, which leads to a valve that leads to a reactor turbine, sprung a leak Monday. The plant operated at about 4 percent capacity while repairs were made and started powering back up early Tuesday.

The NRC spokesman says there was no radiation leak.

It is the second partial shutdown since the August 5.8 magnitude earthquake that knocked both reactors off-line and raised concerns about the plant’s safety.

But the NRC spokesman says there’s no evidence right now that this latest incident had anything to do with quake damage.

North Anna is located in Louisa County about 90 miles from Washington. It has operated since the 1970s.

During the August earthquake, there was some damage to buildings at the site but no off-site radiation leak. The reactors were restarted in November after an investigation found no functional damage.

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