Virginia Earthquake Triggers 'Unusual Event' at Susquehanna Plant

Aug 23, 2011, 15:33 ET from PPL Susquehanna

BERWICK, Pa., Aug. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A powerful earthquake felt throughout the mid-Atlantic region this afternoon (8/23) has not affected regular operation at PPL Corporation's Susquehanna nuclear power plant near Berwick.

Unit 1 of the plant continues to operate normally at full power. Unit 2 had previously shut down for maintenance and remains in safe, stable condition. PPL is delaying the return of Unit 2 to full power as a precautionary measure.

Experienced, well-trained plant employees are checking the plant from top to bottom for potential damage. No issues have been detected and no employee injuries have been reported.

"We are taking prudent steps to check the condition of our plant," PPL spokesman Joe Scopelliti said. "The safety of our plant neighbors and employees is our primary concern."

No public action is required and the situation poses no risk to plant neighbors.

PPL is in contact with local and regional emergency management agencies.

The seismic activity detected at the plant is well below levels the plant was designed to withstand.

PPL has declared an "unusual event" as a result of the earthquake. An unusual event is the lowest of four emergency classifications established by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for nuclear power plants.

PPL has activated its Joint Information Center at the East Mountain Business Center just off Route 115, south of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The phone number is 570-831-6300.

The Susquehanna plant, located in Luzerne County about seven miles north of Berwick, is owned jointly by PPL Susquehanna LLC and Allegheny Electric Cooperative Inc. and is operated by PPL Susquehanna.

PPL Susquehanna is one of PPL Corporation's generating facilities. Headquartered in Allentown, Pa., PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) owns or controls about 19,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets, and delivers electricity and natural gas to about 10 million customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. More information is available at

SOURCE PPL Susquehanna