- The Washington Times - Monday, April 18, 2011

An unconfirmed tornado landed outside the Surry Nuclear Plant in Virginia on Saturday and automatically shutdown the site’s two reactors, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The apparent tornado affected an electrical switchyard next to the plant, cutting off the electrical feed to the station, in Surry County, about 17 miles northwest of Newport News.

Both reactors shut down automatically at about 7 p.m. and backup diesel generators kept power going.

Plant operators have partially restored offsite power to both plants, said owner Dominion Virginia Power.

The radioactive material release is below federally approved limits and poses no threat to station workers or the public, the NRC said.

The power company notified the NRC of the situation soon after it happened, and the agency dispatched its resident inspectors to the plant and staffed its incident response center in Atlanta, officials said.

The power company reported no injuries and said its also notified state and local officials.