Mineral, nuclear plant rattled by yet another aftershock

MINERAL, VA (WWBT) – Yet another early morning aftershock rattles the tiny town of Mineral. At a magnitude of 3.4, it's one of the biggest since last Tuesday's earthquake. Also, we're learning more about what that quake did to the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant.

Ben "Pops" Pirolli got into work at 6:00 a.m., and had a problem.

"I come in, I noticed in the bathroom there where other pieces of cinder block that had fallen down onto the floor," Pirolli said.

"There was brick on that corner. You can see the gray spot there where it had busted out apparently when it moved again this morning," he added.

"It" would be Pop's business: Main Street Plumbing and Electrical Supply...already shored up because the front wall started falling off last week. The earthquake left a small gap, and every little aftershock threatens to make the damage worse.

"Our biggest concern now is if we rebuild now, you're not sure if another one is going to come along right after that and tear it down again," Pirolli said.

The aftershocks are not unexpected, but they're still unsettling at Kandy Brown's house.

"Whenever they go off, I get to shaking. 'Cause I'm scared there's gonna be another one. A big one," Brown said.

Like the other aftershocks, there were no injuries and no major damage this time...even as new problems are uncovered from the original 5.8 magnitude quake. Massive nuclear storage tanks at the North Anna plant shifted - the first time that's ever happened.

A federal spokesperson said safety was not compromised.

Back at Pop's, he's worried less about that, and more about how he'll put his building back together.

"We really don't have any surplus money to be putting into our buildings at this moment," Pirolli said.

Pops, by the way, had an interesting take on this whole thing. He's a two-time cancer survivor, yet he says he's never been so scared for his life as he was in this past week.

The North Anna Nuclear Power Plant remains shut down for now. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission continues to analyze the shifted storage tanks.

Louisa County also asks that property owners with damage from the earthquake report it at 540-967-3496, so the county can get an accurate assessment.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.