WASHINGTON — The risk that an earthquake would cause a severe accident at a U.S. nuclear plant is greater than previously thought, 24 times as high in one case, according to an AP analysis of preliminary government data.The nation’s nuclear regulator believes a quarter of America’s reactors may need modifications to make them safer.
The threat came into sharp focus last week, when shaking from the largest earthquake to hit Virginia in 117 years appeared to exceed what the North Anna nuclear power plant northwest of Richmond was built to sustain.
The two North Anna reactors are among 27 in the eastern and central U.S. that a preliminary Nuclear Regulatory Commission review has said may need upgrades. The Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey, N.J., is not on the list.
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