UPDATE 1-Maine earthquake spares New Hampshire nuclear plant

Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:50pm EDT

Oct 17 (Reuters) - U.S. power company NextEra Energy Inc
 said a moderate earthquake in southwest Maine late
Tuesday caused no damage at its Seabrook nuclear power plant in
New Hampshire, which has been shut for a planned refueling
outage since about Sept. 17.
     The earthquake struck Maine on Tuesday shortly after 7 p.m.
(2300 GMT), according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). It
was first reported as a 4.5 magnitude quake centered near Lake
Arrowhead, but the USGS revised the quake's magnitude to 4.6 and
finally down to 4.0. 
    In a report to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC),
NextEra, of Juno Beach, Florida, said it declared an unusual
event when the earthquake was felt at the 1,247-megawatt (MW)
plant.
    An unusual event is the lowest of the NRC's four emergency
classifications.
    The plant exited the unusual event after several hours
following walk downs that indicated no reports of damage at the
station.
    NextEra said in the report, the unit was exiting the
refueling outage. Reuters expected the unit to exit the outage
sometime this week. See 

----------------------------------------------------------
PLANT BACKGROUND/TIMELINE
STATE:       New Hampshire    
COUNTY:      Rockingham    
TOWN:        Hampton, about 40 miles (60 km) north of Boston    
OPERATOR:    NextEra Energy    
OWNER(S):    NextEra Energy    
CAPACITY:    1,247 MW
UNIT(S):     Westinghouse pressurized Water Reactor    
FUEL:        Nuclear     
DISPATCH:    Baseload     

TIMELINE:     
1976 -       Construction permit for two reactors granted. Unit
             2 was canceled and most of its components sold to
             other plants
1986 -       Unit 1 construction completed
1990 -       Full power operation for Unit 1
2002 -       Ten New England utilities that own the plant sell 
             reactor to FPL, later known as NextEra
2010 -       NextEra files license renewal application for 20 
             years. The NRC said the date of a decision on the
             renewal was to be determined
2030 -       Current license set to expire if not renewed by NRC
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