North Anna nuke plant No. 7 on most earthquake-prone list

Thursday - 3/17/2011, 12:27pm EDT

WASHINGTON -- Unfazed by the potential fallout in Japan and a cautionary listing from nuclear regulators, one of two nuclear power plants in the D.C. area is considering expansion.

The North Anna Nuclear Generation Station, just off the shores of Lake Anna, Va., has been pushing for a third nuclear reactor for about eight years.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently placed North Anna seventh on its list of the country's 10 most earthquake-prone nuclear sites, according to an MSNBC report.

"We believe it's important to build the infrastructure in-state necessary to secure safe and reliable and affordable electricity for our customers," says Dominion Power nuclear division spokesperson Richard Zuercher.

"North Anna unit three is part of that strategy."

Employees spend 20 percent of their time training for emergencies or "abnormalities in plant operations," Zuercher says, including earthquakes.

NRC is expected to make a decision on the potential expansion within two years.

Follow Nathan Hager and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)