By James Conca
Hurricane Florence, a potentially devastating Category 2 hurricane is on track to make landfall in the Carolinas sometime within 24 hours after this morning, Thursday, September 13. With winds up to 130 miles per hour, Florence could be the most powerful storm to hit so far north in the United States – ever.
Unfortunately, Tropical Storm Isaac, and Hurricane Helene are fast on her heels (see figure). Isaac is expected to upgrade to a hurricane before landfall.
Along with most everyone else, nuclear power plants in North and South Carolina, as well as Virginia, have been preparing for the natural onslaught.
Hurricane Florence will most likely hit two nuclear power plantsoperated by Duke Energy – their 1,870 megawatt (MW) Brunswick and 932MW Harris nuclear plants in North Carolina. If Florence turns north, it could also hit Dominion Energy’s 1,676MW Surry plant in Virginia. Brunswick is expected to get a direct hit.
The Brunswick Nuclear Power Plant, two miles north of Southport, North Carolina will get a direct hit by Hurricane Florence. But there’s no worry as nuclear plants are the most resistant to severe weather of all energy sources. The plant produces over 15 billion kWhs a year and provides power to over 4 million people. DOC SEARLS
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is watching carefully. But no one is really worried that much will happen, contrary to lots of antinuclear fearmongering. Power outages will occur as lines and transformers are destroyed and non-nuclear buildings get damaged, and it might takes a few days to a few weeks to bring power back up, something that includes all energy sources.
‘We anticipate Hurricane Florence to be an historic storm that will impact all customers,’ said Grace Rountree, a spokeswoman for Duke. These reactors provide power to about 4 million customers in the two Carolinas.
The Brunswick plant has withstood several hurricanes since the