Duke Energy shuts down nuclear plants in path of Florence
17 September, 2018, 03:41 | Author: Brooke Harris
There are 16 reactors in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, the states that will likely suffer the most damage from Florence.
Florence is now a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (177 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC). "We've got backups for backups", said Green, noting the plant has been through hurricanes before.
"Brunswick is closest to the eye, but every reactor exposed to hurricane-force winds will be shut down", said U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Joey Ledford told Weather.com.
"We remain in constant communications with local, state and federal officials regarding the status of the plant", the company reported in a press release, "and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with inspectors on-site, remains informed of our plans regarding plant shutdown".
Duke officials watching the storm's track on Thursday chose to close down the Brunswick plant, which is located about four miles from the coast.
With public dread over a Fukushima-like accident in the USA, how will these plants weather this storm?
"These facilities have proven their ability to withstand hurricanes and provide electricity to homes and businesses as soon as off-site power is restored and the electricity grid can accommodate the power", he added. But Duke Energy Corp and the NRC have gone back and forth about whether the facility meets the new requirements, as the plant was originally created to protect itself against only 3.6 feet of storm surge.
The locations of nuclear power plants in North and SC. Emergency diesel generators at both plants operated as designed, and off-site power was restored within 24 hours.
The Brunswick Nuclear Plant has two reactors-of the same design as those used at Japan's Fukushima power plant, which exploded after being hit by earthquakes and floods.
In addition to keeping up to date on the storm conditions (wind speeds, rainfall amounts, storm surge, etc), staff are required to inspect the entire site for equipment that may be moved by the storm's winds, and secure doors and water supply lines.
The cyclone is one of the most powerful hurricanes to have formed in the Atlantic this year.
Ken Graham, the NHC's director, warned the slow pace of the storm exacerbated its danger even to areas outside its immediate path. Florence "is twice the size of Hurricane Hugo", which tore through the Carolinas in 1989, New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw told "GMA".
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While hurricane force winds extended 80 miles from the centre of the storm, tropical storm force winds extended up to 195 miles. Dozens of North Carolina school districts were closed, as well as almost all schools in the University of North Carolina system.
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Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.