APNewsBreak: Va. nuke plant gets OK to restart

November 11, 2011 - 1:00 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is giving Dominion Virginia Power permission to restart its nuclear power plant that has been offline since the Aug. 23 earthquake.

North Anna Power Station's two nuclear reactors automatically shut down after the 5.8-magnitude earthquake caused peak ground movement greater than what the plant was designed for. It was the first time that's happened at an operating U.S. nuclear plant.

Dominion says it has spent more than 100,000 hours and $21 million in inspection, testing, and evaluation of the plant's twin 980-megawatt reactors. Federal regulators also conducted inspections. Both say the plant about 11 miles from the quake's epicenter did not suffer any functional damage.

It will take about 10 days for the plant to be fully operational as both reactors will be restarted in phases.