No damage was reported on the Oak Ridge Reservation after a 3.8 magnitude earthquake was reported about 30 miles northeast of Oak Ridge on Monday, January 20.
The earthquake was felt in Oak Ridge and other communities, and it vibrated homes and windows here. The earthquake was reported by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Two lower magnitude 2.4 and 2.8 earthquakes were also reported on Sunday, January 19, and Tuesday, January 21, respectively, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board said in its most recent report.
The DNFSB also reported no structural issues a little more than a year ago after earthquakes of magnitude 4.4 and 3.0 were reported about 40 miles southwest of Oak Ridge in December 2018.
Environmental groups and anti-nuclear weapons activists have raised concerns about earthquakes and their potential to damage old buildings at the Y-12 National Security Complex, which works on nuclear weapons components, in a federal lawsuit filed over the Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12, which is now under construction.
The U.S. Geological Survey says damage from an earthquake doesn’t usually occur until after the magnitude exceeds somewhere above four or five, although the damage can depend upon variables such as the distance from the earthquake and the type of soil. It wasn’t immediately clear Sunday if the Y-12 buildings were designed to withstand earthquakes of certain magnitudes.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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