But all joking aside, there was a serious issue raised by yesterday's East Coast quake. The epicenter of the quake was only about 11 miles from the North Anna nuclear-power station in central Virginia.
Via AmericaBlog: "The red pin is the epicenter of the quake.
Note Lake Anna in the upper right corner. That's the area in
which the Anna nuclear facilities are located."
(Click graphic to enlarge)
According to The Wall Street Journal:
Tuesday's 5.8-magnitude earthquake created a state of emergency at the North Anna nuclear-power station in central Virginia, causing it to lose electricity and automatically shut down, although generators restored power.
Twelve additional nuclear plants in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina and Michigan declared "unusual events," the lowest of four emergency situations. They included Calvert Cliffs, the closest nuclear plant to Washington, D.C. The plant remained stable at 100% of capacity, said Mark Sullivan, a spokesman with Constellation Energy Nuclear Group LLC, which owns the plant.
And, here's where it gets stupid. Really, deeply stupid. And, by that, I mean Tea Party/Wingnut stupid. Marcy Wheeler at Emptywheel.net notes that the epicenter of the quake occurred in House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-VA) district (which also contains the nuclear plants).
Wheeler reminds all that:
"Back in March, after the Japanese earthquake, Eric Cantor defended Republican plans to cut funding from the USGS and warning systems to help in case of a disaster."
"Apparently, budget cuts in the 1990s [in VA] led to the removal of seismic equipment at the North Anna plant. (h/t Kirk)"
"Cantor was in VA’s House of Delegates from 1992 to 2001, so there’s a decent chance he had a part in those budget cuts."
What a patriot!