Duke Energy shuts down nuclear plants in path of Florence

17 September, 2018, 03:41 | Author: Brooke Harris
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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.

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.

"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.

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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.

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