14.09.2018_No183 / News in Brief

US Regulator Prepares For Storm As Duke Energy Shuts Down Brunswick Reactors

Unplanned Events & Incidents

14 Sep (NucNet): The US nuclear regulator is staffing its incident response centre in Atlanta around the clock as it expands its monitoring of Hurricane Florence and its effects on nuclear power plants and other licensed nuclear facilities.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it will continue 24-hour staffing “as conditions require”. NRC staff will continue to monitor the path of Hurricane Florence while remaining in contact with plant operators, NRC on-site inspectors, the NRC’s headquarters operations centre and state emergency officials.

Meanwhile, Duke Energy has told the NRC that the company is shutting down both units at the Brunswick nuclear power station south of Wilmington, North Carolina, as that site is facing hurricane-force winds, major storm surges and heavy rain.

The NRC said its inspectors have reviewed storm preparations, including protection against the amount of rain and flooding that might be expected. NRC inspectors are on site at Brunswick and will remain there through the storm.

Officials at the Global Nuclear Fuels plant near Wilmington have also notified the NRC that they have shut down operations and secured equipment in advance of the storm.

Other nuclear plants in the projected storm path have prepared for high winds and heavy rainfall. NRC inspectors also will remain at those sites as conditions require.

There are 16 commercial nuclear power reactors in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, the states expected to suffer the most damage from Florence.

The NRC said earlier this week that Florence will most likely affect Duke Energy’s two-unit Brunswick and single-unit Harris nuclear stations in North Carolina and, if it turns north, Dominion Energy’s two-unit Surry station in Virginia.

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David Dalton

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