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TVA Takes Safety Precautions after Virginia Earthquake

By Jeaneane Payne

norris dam
Norris Dam was inspected for possible damage following Virginia earthquake.
Image by John Disque

Following the earthquake in Virginia yesterday, the Tennessee Valley Authority is inspecting all of its nuclear plants. They are also including 15 dams and ash impoundments in that inspection.

"The seismograph at Tellico Dam was the only TVA site that recorded any shaking as a result of the earthquake," TVA Chief Operating Officer Bill McCollum said. "TVA is inspecting its nuclear plants and several dams and impoundments out of an abundance of caution to be sure the earthquake had no affect on these facilities."

Inspections must be performed at dams and impoundments following a recorded earthquake according to TVA's dam safety criteria. The dams include: Beaver Creek, Clear Creek, Boone, Cherokee, Doakes Creek (on Norris Reservoir), Douglas, Fontana, Fort Patrick Henry, Nolichucky, Norris, South Holston, Watauga and Wilbur.

No problems were found at the John Sevier, Bull Run and Kingston Fossil Plants ash impoundments.

Watts Bar and Sequoyah nuclear plants in Tennessee and Browns Ferry in Alabama have been inspected, but no changes were found.

The plants are designed, built, and operated to withstand an earthquake of larger magnitude than any recorded in the southeastern U.S.

Published August 24, 2011, 10:21 a.m.

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