• Residents near area power plants concerned after earthquake rattles Tennessee

    By: Tina Terry

    Updated:

    HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - An earthquake that originated in eastern Tennessee Wednesday morning rocked thousands of people from Georgia to the Carolinas.

    Some people in the Charlotte area said they felt the rumble.

    [Early morning earthquakes rattle Tennessee; felt as far away as Charlotte]


    Watch the video above as Eyewitness News reporter Tina Terry worked to find out how our local nuclear power plants prepare for rare eastern earthquakes.


    The epicenter of the powerful quake was near Decatur, Tennessee, not far from a nuclear plant.

    People in the area want to know of power plants like the two within 40 miles of Charlotte would be safe in the event of a powerful earthquake.

    UNC Charlotte geologist Andy Bobyarchick told Channel 9 that usually earthquakes in that area are smaller in size. The one in Tennessee was just 60 miles from a nuclear power plant.

    Jim Hopson, with the Tennessee Valley Authority, told Channel 9 the earthquake did not cause any damage.

    Channel 9 went to Duke Energy to ask what would happen if a similar earthquake were to happen closer to the McGuire and Catawba nuclear facilities in the Charlotte area.

    A spokesperson for Duke Energy said, “Nuclear power plants were designed and built to withstand the effects of natural forces.”

    The spokesperson cited examples that “steel-reinforced concrete containment structures house the reactor”  and “employees train for responding to forces of nature.”

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