U.S. plant operators prepare for Hurricane Florence

Several nuclear power plants in North and South Carolina lie in the path of Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence latest: Storm puts nuke power stations at risk as it barrels towards US | Daily Star

DUK says it is following procedures and shutting Unit 1 and will start shutting Unit 2 at the 1,870 MW plant later today.

Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, triggering risky flooding, toppling trees, cutting power to almost a million homes and businesses while causing at least five deaths.

It's predicted to directly pass over the Brunswick Nuclear Plant - about 30 miles south of Wilmington - as well as the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant in New Hill, a town farther inland.

When Florence makes landfall, sometime Friday night or Saturday morning, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, it appears likely that it will have weakened to a strong category 3 storm, but it is still expected to bring with it a triple threat of blasting winds, torrential rainfall and a potentially devastating storm surge.

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Duke's bigger worry, spokesperson Paige Sheehan said, are the cooling ponds at its fossil fuel power plants. USA regulations require nuclear power plants to shut down if a storm is forecast to strike the plant with sustained winds of greater than 73 miles per hour, because of the potential loss of off-site power.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, said it was anxious about the Brunswick plant's capabilities to weather out the storm.

Dominion Energy is preparing for the storm at its Surry nuclear power plant in Virginia, making sure emergency equipment is available and extra staff can be deployed if needed, company spokesman Richard Zuercher said Tuesday in an interview.

"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.

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The locations of nuclear power plants in North and SC.

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.

Diaz said he did not think there would be issues with the power plants in the upcoming storms.

He said each plant has resident inspectors on site, and one or two additional inspectors at sites that are expected to be more directly impacted by the storm.

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