Why did the Virginia nuke plant, built on fault line, have its quake sensors removed?

The earths is still shaking along the east coast of the United States – after a 5.8 earthquake rocked the small town of Mineral, Virginia and reverberated through the nation’s capitol and several other states up and down the coast – from Georgia to New York. Today – schools and government building are closed in Washington, DC out of fear of after-shocks – and damage has been discovered at the National Cathedral and Washington Monument. It was the largest earthquake to strike Virginia in well over 100 years.

Located near the epicenter is the North Anna Nuclear Power Station – rated the seventh most likely nuclear power plant in America to receive core damage in the event of an earthquake. Due to budget cuts – the quake sensors at the plant were removed back in the 1990’s. Luckily – back-up diesel generators kicked in to prevent a meltdown after the plant lost power during the earthquake.

The plant was built to withstand a 6.1 earthquake – yesterday’s was a 5.8 – meaning we were that close to suffering a Fukushima-like nuclear disaster near the nation’s capital. Let’s hope this is a wake-up call.


Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 12 years 43 weeks ago

I was quite surprised when some of my classmates, normally well reasoned folk, took up the banner for Barry Goldwater. They would post signs in our school that just said "AuH2O."

At that time, I began wondering how our politics had gotten so bad, and now look longingly to the times when my mother would explain politics and money to me. It's just gotten insane; beyond explanation to people who have had their attention spans surgically removed.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 12 years 43 weeks ago

More Soma, please.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 43 weeks ago

D'oh. Colbert's on vacation. I think you'll have to wait until after Labor Day for him to buy Paul Ryan.

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 43 weeks ago

Libertarian Anticapitalism




These folks may make an interesting interview.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 43 weeks ago

What exactly is the "testing" in means testing?

mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 43 weeks ago

I think I got one--helminthiphobically. Is that "with a fear of worms"?

Lebovitz 12 years 43 weeks ago

When the earthquake hit, I looked at the Gasland website for the U.S. map of states with Fracking:


Ursel Twing's picture
Ursel Twing 12 years 43 weeks ago

How much "fracking" went on offshore causing the Japanese earthquake?

leighmf's picture
leighmf 12 years 43 weeks ago

Money Hi-Jackers Make Monument Crackers

by leighmf, on the present state of things

Washington's Monument cracked and swayed,
another round of golf was played.
Nancy took a library slip,
Rubio slippers caught her, Pip! Pip!

The Dome of the Capitol too might have fallen.
From Union Station, God was a-callin'-
"Boy, this place is going to Hell.
They never did fix the Liberty Bell."

Remember the Maine! Remember the Cole!
Speaking of coal, the Virginian Soul-
another form of coal is coke
one way or another we drink, snort and smoke.

Raised politicians, Dumb, Dumb, and Dumber,
how they loved being on TV all summer!
Primping and pimping in shiny silk ties,
make-up and lighting- where are our cream pies?

Brothers and Sisters, it's time to throw food!
Lunch wagons for Wall Street, wieners for their brood.
Let them spread asphalt and dig the new sewer,
wearing leg irons caked with manure.


MaryMary's picture
MaryMary 12 years 43 weeks ago

Great Poem

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 12 years 43 weeks ago

Will this shake up wake up the Democrats? The Republicans have already decided that the earthquake was God's way of punishing America because Barack Obama is president. Nothing will wake up the Republicans. We have to count on the Democratic leaders to do what is right. Remember, the Republicans wanted the government to default. If they want us to become a third rate nation they should be cheering for a core meltdown. Do not expect any Republican to give an ounce of support for better safety at nuclear profit plants. They will argue that these private industries are already "over-regulated" and that is their problem. Imagine, a nuclear profit plant that was designed to be safe for 40 years is still operating after fifty years with no new safety devices. I am more worried about whether the progressive Democrats will do what is right.

mwalkerco's picture
mwalkerco 12 years 43 weeks ago

To save money for the corporation in charge, no doubt!

Jimspy's picture
Jimspy 12 years 43 weeks ago

A century since the last powerful earthquake, and it was only a 5.8. While that sounds close to a 6, it's actually one-third as big (the scale is logarithmic). Why were the earthquake detectors removed? They weren't needed. As proven by the fact that the generators kicked in and performed their job. Yes, we need to review safety at ALL nuclear power plants, and do what we can to shore them up. But I don't see any basis for criticism in the current case.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 12 years 43 weeks ago

Will this be a wakeup call for the republicans and tea party? Well, let's see: do any of them live close to and downwind from that nuclear plant? Because the thing is, being pretend Christians, they don't care if OTHER people get hurt by a nuclear meltdown. In fact, some of them think it's funny when other people get hurt or killed. Or at the very least they think those people must have sinned and this is God getting revenge on them, because you know, their God is real into that whole thing of getting Divine Revenge against liberals.

However, when it is republicans or tea partiers getting harmed or killed, then yes, of course this latest earthquake has been a wakeup call for them. When republican and tea party people get hurt or killed it is never God getting revenge against them. It is the democrats' fault. (And when, say, Newt Gingrich cheats on all of his wifes, that's the democrrats's fault too, because Newt only cheated on his wives because he was so worried about what the democrats are doing to America.)

A clear understanding of everything the republicans and tea party say and do, is as close as looking up the word sociopath on wikipedia. They are very simple, very sick people who have made a craven image of a very sick God that they worship.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 12 years 43 weeks ago

If that is meant as sarcasm, you'd better do more reading on fracking and the damage it causes. It's not a laughing matter.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 12 years 43 weeks ago

That was the 1960s! Things were relatively civil then.

Navy_Guns's picture
Navy_Guns 12 years 43 weeks ago

Today Thom suggested that the dam at Lake Anna could fail during the possible hurricane rains, causing the reactor to fail due to loss of cooling. Check out the dam on Google Maps at 38° 0'47.43"N 77°42'47.00"W. It's mostly an earthen dam, and due to it's position relative to the topography, it's unlikely a dam failure would lower the level of the lake enough to stop cooling water availability to the reactor. It is "high" relative to the reactor intake. My family has lived there for over 25 years, and I feel completely safe. The lake is not "un-natural", it is man-made and took advantage of natural topography.

renee in dc 12 years 43 weeks ago

pro-nuke-profit Repubs will *wake-up*and*stop-the-fracking* when they get socially-responsible or donkeys fly…(whichever comes first).

MaddiBee's picture
MaddiBee 12 years 43 weeks ago

Some may awaken, but probably not in time. The rest will keep their heads buried where the sun don't shine. And the rest of us better prepare for a world we all thought couldn't get any worse than this. Remember HOPE? Remember CHANGE? Remember all those pre-election speeches? WHAT HAPPENED?

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 12 years 43 weeks ago

Republicans and tea partiers have proven quite clearly that they literally do not care what happens to anyone but themselves. In fact, the leaders and the people who fund the republican party and the tea party, do not even care what happens to the middle class and poor people in the republican party and the tea party. Those leaders and rich people have a very long history of consistently harming the very people who support them, and then they say, "The liberals did this to you."

The republicans and tea partiers who are middle class and poor, have not yet caught onto this fact. (But when they do catch on- and it's only a matter of time- what do you think they will do?)

Who owns and controls the companies that do fracking? Republican-controlled oil companies and the republican-controlled natural gas corporations.

Now I will adopt the republican method of politics: The earthquake that happened on our east coast the other day, happened because God hates people who hate gay people. He told me so. (That is a joke. Sort of.)

Ursel Twing's picture
Ursel Twing 12 years 43 weeks ago

I worry a whole lot more about the damage from ethanol refining. Not to mention the subsidies the government gives out every year.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 12 years 43 weeks ago

Any wake-up call that has implications regarding the GENERAL WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE, is too much like one of those, Govt. involvement, democratic socialist things, for the REPUBLICANS to give a damn or care about.

chef dude's picture
chef dude 12 years 43 weeks ago

Thom I believe nothing will change these psycho fanatics hellbent for leather to see the US become a third world failed empire. As last summers oil spill demonstrates you can have multiple deaths, and vast areas of poisoned ecosystem and still not get real about preventing the corporations from an Open season on the Planet and its resources. NPK the Japanese PBS station continually reports on increasing levels of danger from contamination at Fukishima and surrounding prefectures with acres of land that are now a nuclear waste land for the next 2500 years and beyond. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For those of you that feel so safe with unregulated corporations you should consider making lots on top of the earthen dams and then see if you can get Wall Street to put em in a bundle of derivatives so the Koch brothers can invest in your utopia. Follow it up with a good prayer rally cause if anything happens, there won't be any relief aid because you defunded the program. Free market your rescue services and out source your relief. Profit is your prophet. Don't be suprised when the truth comes out Frack is whack.

PLSzymeczek's picture
PLSzymeczek 12 years 43 weeks ago

It's setting an upper limit of income applicants can have outside the benefit.

stonesphear's picture
stonesphear 12 years 43 weeks ago

When they build these plants the public is assured that the chances of a melt down catastrophe are astronomically in favor of the safety of the plants. When catastrophes prove to beat these incredible odds the public is asked to believe that the more plants that beat the odds the less likely another one will occur. In other words , the chances of a melt down are so incredibly small that when one occurs the chances of another one becomes even more astronomically small.

John Wernsdorfer's picture
John Wernsdorfer 12 years 43 weeks ago

Will an earthquake wake up the Goper's. Nah! They and the Dem blue coats are far to corrupt. There's lots of money to be had in the construction of a nuclear power plant. A great deal of it must come from the government coffers. They'll use our tax money to lower our net worth and raise their's. While the well greased Pres sits idly by and helps them. Screwed again!!

MaryMary's picture
MaryMary 12 years 43 weeks ago

Did I miss something? Did the nuclear plant in Virginia melt down? The last word I heard was the fail safe system worked, and there is nothing to worry about.

JKE-Julian's picture
JKE-Julian 12 years 42 weeks ago

I heard a rumor that there are safer energy sources that don't pollute like oil and coal and don't leave massive radioactive waste that last thousands of years. Solar? Wind? Water waves? or using these in combinations?

How come the "Free Market" doesn't exclusively finance the insurance on any existing nuclear power plants without using our government tax dollars and cut the budget in that area?

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