3:10pm

Tue August 23, 2011
Quakes alive!

No damage to Indian Point nuclear plant in east coast quake

We're following up on how the today's 5.9 5.8 (see 3:50 update below) magnitude earthquake might have affected infrastructure and energy operations, but right off the bat, you can breathe a sigh of relief, per the governor's office:

Currently, there have been no reports of damage to buildings, bridges, roads, power grids, the Indian Point nuclear power plant, or other infrastructure.

Indian Point's reactor #3, you may recall, was recently graded to be the most vulnerable domestic reactor in terms of earthquakes, according to Homeland Security Newswire:

The chance of core damage from a quake at Indian Point 3 is estimated at 1 in 10,000 each year. Under NRC guidelines, this rating is very close to requiring “immediate concern regarding adequate protection” of the public. The two reactors at Indian Point generate up to one-third of the electricity for Manhattan. The second reactor, Indian Point 2, does not rate as risky, with an annual chance of 1 in 30,303.

That's part of why Governor Andrew Cuomo is "determined to close" Indian Point in the next few years, and why attorney general, Eric Schneiderman says the plant has a "steep hill to climb" in process to be relicensed.

Did you feel it?

That's the question that the U.S. Geological Survey is asking.  If you did feel the quake, you can let USGS know here.

On another note, did you know Colorado had like its biggest earthquake ever yesterday?  Bet that story's getting a lot more play now.

Update at 3:50 p.m.

The governor's office has released another statement:

The state is initiating comprehensive reviews of critical and sensitive infrastructure including the state’s hydroelectric plants, nuclear power plants, key bridges and tunnels, and other assets.

I am getting regular reports from agencies all over the state and at this time there are no reports of damage or power outages.

And the USGS has already downgraded the magnitude to 5.8.

Here's the charming boilerplate from USGS on their website for the event:

This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

Update at 4:11 p.m.

FEMA has now weighed in with a statement on the quake:

Due to overload of cell phone usage, there are reports of cell phone congestion.  We request that members of the public use email or text messages if possible to communicate for the next few hours, except in cases of emergency, so that emergency officials can continue to receive and respond to urgent calls. We encourage everyone in the affected areas to listen to the direction of their local officials. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Hear that kids?  The federal government is explicitly asking you to text!