Nuclear power plants are specially designed to withstand earthquake tremors, but officials at the Duane Arnold Energy Center near Palo say Friday morning’s quake didn’t register on the monitoring equipment at Iowa’s only nuclear power facility.
Renee Nelson, communications director at the plant, says the equipment isn’t designed to detect tremors in the ground, but instead is to measure any impact earthquake tremors may have on equipment inside the facility.
“That instrumentation did not show that our equipment had been touched at all by the earthquake,” she says. “We also have highly-trained operators who are monitoring that equipment and ensuring if any detection is made apparent that we’re reacting appropriately.”
The Duane Arnold plant started operations in 1974. In 2005, Alliant Energy sold its stake in the plant to a Juno Beach, Florida energy company called F-P-L. Two Iowa electric cooperatives retain a 30 percent stake in the facility.