HOUSTON, Sept 9 Nuclear regulators shot down an
ambitious five-week timeline proposed to restart Dominion's
(D.N) two North Anna reactors in Virginia during a public
meeting on Thursday to discuss the Aug. 23 earthquake that
knocked the station offline.
The 1,806-megawatt station has remained shut since it
automatically tripped last month after the unusually strong 5.8
magnitude earthquake struck roughly 12 miles (19 km) from the
plant in Mineral, Virginia.
On Thursday, Dominion officials said Unit 1 could be
"physically" ready to restart by Sept. 22.
Dominion also said Unit 2 -- set to begin a refueling
outage in late September -- could be refueled and ready to
restart by mid-October.
An official from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
however, noted that the agency's special inspection team may be
finishing work at the site around Sept. 22 and warned that more
meetings will likely be needed between Dominion officials and
the NRC to better understand the company's plan to restart the
Dominion's top nuclear officers gave details of the quake's
seismic impact at the site, of the minor damage found at the
site and outlined a lengthy list of inspections, tests and
reports they plan to complete to satisfy the NRC that the North
Anna reactors are safe to return to service. [ID:nN1E7870JL]
No other schedules for the restart were offered or
suggested by the company or the NRC staff during the three-hour
Dominion officials said it now appears the reactors shut
when the earthquake caused a problem inside the cores at both
units rather than from the loss of outside power to the plant
as initially reported.
"It looks like the (fuel) rods were going into the core
prior to the transformer opening," possibly from a relay
problem, a Dominion executive said.
Dominion is still working to understand the "root cause" of
the plant shutdown as multiple automatic trip signals from
various indicators were received within seconds of the quake.
(Reporting by Eileen O'Grady; Editing by Marguerita Choy)