(CNN) -- Tuesday's Virginia earthquake triggered the shutdown of a nearby nuclear power plant and spurred declarations of "unusual events" at plants as far away as Michigan, U.S. authorities reported.
Dominion Virginia Power said both reactors at its North Anna plant, less than 20 miles from the epicenter of the magnitude-5.8 quake, shut down after the first tremors. Amanda Reidelbach, an emergency management spokeswoman for Louisa County, said the plant vented steam, but there was no release of radioactive material.
David Heacock, the utility's chief nuclear officer, said the plant was operating on emergency power and the units were safely deactivated.
"The plants are designed for this kind of a seismic event," Heacock said. "There is no apparent damage to anything at the plant right now."
Heacock said the plant had four diesel generators supplying backup power and that those generators had three days of fuel. However, off-site electric power was expected to be restored later Tuesday, he said.
Dominion Virginia said reactors at its other nuclear station, the Surry plant near Newport News, were still running.
The North Anna plant is about 50 miles northwest of Richmond and about 90 miles southwest of Washington. Operators declared an alert -- the second-lowest level of emergency reporting under U.S. nuclear regulations -- after the quake struck shortly before 2 p.m., the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.
Twelve other plants in six states issued an "unusual event" declaration, the lowest level of emergency notice, according to the NRC. They included the Shearon Harris plant in North Carolina; the Calvert Cliffs plant in Maryland; Pennsylvania's Susquehanna, Three Mile Island, Limerick and Peach Bottom plants; the Oyster Creek, Hope Creek and Salem plants in New Jersey; and the D.C. Cook and Palisades plants in Michigan.
"All these plants continue to operate while plant personnel examine their sites," the NRC said.
CNN's Emily Smith, Jeanne Meserve, Scott Bronstein and Shawn Nottingham contributed to this report.
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