UPDATE 1-US nuclear regulator monitors plant after tornado

Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:42am EDT

Related Topics

* Power was cut by tornado during weekend storms

* Backup power systems kicked in as required-NRC

* No radiation was released (Updates with details and background)

WASHINGTON, April 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. nuclear safety regulator said on Monday it was monitoring a Virginia nuclear power plant in southeastern Virginia operated by Dominion Resources (D.N) after a tornado cut its electrical power.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the plant's diesel generators and safety systems operated as required, and that plant operators have partially restored off-site power to the plants.

Dominion Virginia Power said the two nuclear reactors at its Surry Power Station shut down automatically when a tornado touched down and cut off an electrical feed to the station. The U.S. south was hit by violent storms over the weekend. [ID:nN17154063]

No radiation was released during the storm and shutdown, the NRC and the company said.

The situation was described as an "unusual event," the lowest of the four NRC emergency classification levels.

The nuclear disaster in Japan has raised concerns about the safety of the 104 operating U.S. nuclear power plants and their resiliency to natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; editing by Jim Marshall)

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