Earthquake triggers ‘unusual event’ at Seabrook nuclear power plant; no damage found, NRC says

The Seabrook nuclear power plant declared “an unusual event’’ at 7:20 p.m. Tuesday after an earthquake centered in Maine was felt in the control room of the New Hampshire facility, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In a statement, the NRC said the “unusual event’’ is the lowest of four levels of emergency classifications used by the NRC.

“The declaration was prompted by on-site ground motion resulting from an earthquake centered near Hollis, Maine – about 50 miles from the plant,’’ NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said in a statement.

The plant is currently shut down for scheduled refueling and maintenance, the NRC said. After internal sensors detected the earthquake, NextEra workers conducted “visual inspections, and confirmed that all key safety systems were functioning properly and that there was no significant structural damage,’’ according to the NRC.

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The NRC’s resident inspector toured the facility Tuesday night after the earthquake and found “that there were no immediate safety issues.’’ The NRC “will independently inspect key safety systems to confirm the company’s post-earthquake evaluations, including the more detailed reviews.’’

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