Hurricane Florence’s potentially catastrophic path includes ‘at-risk’ nuclear power plants

Hurricane Florence’s potentially catastrophic path includes ‘at-risk’ nuclear power plants

Hurricane Florence’s potentially catastrophic path includes ‘at-risk’ nuclear power plants

As Hurricane Florence churns its way towards the Carolinas, at least 8 nuclear power plants stand in its way.

Brunswick plant onsite NRC Inspector Galen Smith, had no worries that the Brunswick plant would survive the storm easily.

"Storm of a lifetime" Florence is still a few days out from landfall along the US coastline.

There are 16 reactors in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, the states that likely will sustain the most damage from the storm, but most are located well inland and not expected to experience hurricane force winds.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) has started to shut its Brunswick nuclear power plant in North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Florence, which is expected to strike the coast near the plant on Friday.

According to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, there are 12 nuclear plants in the Carolinas that make electricity for the region. The number of dots at each location indicates the number of reactors housed at that station. "Other plants near the storm's projected path are also taking precautions".

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The National Advanced Hydrologic Advanced Prediction Service predicted flood levels on Cape Fear near the nuclear plant will reach 24.5 feet on September 17, a foot above the previous record of 23.5 feet, according to Weather.com. On its current track, the storm will hit the coast on Friday with maximum sustained winds of about 105 miles per hour.

Duke Energy's Brunswick Nuclear Power Plant is prepared for Hurricane Florence.

Engineers and staff will be remaining on site at the plant to monitor the situation.

He added: "Those power plants are, one, obviously hardened". Emergency diesel generators at both plants operated as designed, and off-site power was restored within 24 hours.

NRC spokesman Scott Burnell said the Brunswick plant is properly fortified to withstand hurricanes of Florence's strength, and there are plans in place to shut down if necessary.

The two reactors at the site, which entered service in 1975 and 1977, are of similar design to some of the reactors damaged at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan after an natural disaster and tsunami in 2011. Flooding, combined with the storm surge, is a major concern for this storm, but the industry has had 7 years to adapt and strengthen their safety measures.

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