Duke Energy Shuts Down Nuclear Plant Ahead of Florence
Duke Energy Shuts Down Nuclear Plant Ahead of Florence
Brunswick Nuclear Plant shutting down
17 September, 2018, 05:10
Its inspectors are verifying that all preparations have been completed, and the plants' emergency diesel generators are available with ample fuel in case the storm affects off-site power.
With public dread over a Fukushima-like accident in the USA, how will these plants weather this storm?
Duke Energy meteorologists are estimating power outages in the Carolinas from Hurricane Florence could be between one and three million customers, the company said yesterday, with power restoration work potentially taking weeks.
Duke Energy's Brunswick Nuclear Power Plant is prepared for Hurricane Florence.
As of 11 a.m. Hurricane Florence was about 485 miles southeast of Wilmington, N.C., with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.
Bobby Brown, 50, with his granddaughter Lyric, 1, during a power outage in Florence, South Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018.
Since Florence is expected to hit with Category 1 winds, the plant has to be shut down two hours before the storm hits, according to federal law.
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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.
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 Brunswick plant's two reactors share the same design as those in Fukushima, Japan, that exploded and leaked radiation following a 2011 quake and tsunami.
Since Fukushima, all US reactors have been upgraded with additional safety equipment, including portable pumps and generators to keep cooling water circulating through the reactor in case the plant loses offsite power.
She said that shutting the plant down is part of the disaster preparedness plan that all nuclear plants must have in place.
According to CNN, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is now monitoring nine different sites for their potential to release toxic chemicals into the environment, should they become compromised by flooding.
Roughly one year ago, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, at least 13 toxic waste sites were flooded or damaged during the storm, according to CNN.
North Carolina alone is forecast to get 36 trillion litres, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 25 centimetres. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Florence was set to cover nearly all of the state in several feet of water.
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The city said early Friday that two out-of-state FEMA teams were working on swift-water rescues and more teams were on the way. The storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to around 90 miles per hour (144 kph) by nightfall.
Wright, who sings in the choir at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist, led residents at the shelter in an energetic singalong. More than 60 people had to be rescued in another town as a cinderblock motel collapsed at the height of the storm's fury.
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This part of the North Carolina coast, farther east than Wilmington and other points to the south, received Florence's first blow. At least 280,000 people are already without power as the outskirts of the storm lashed North and SC , and Virginia.
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