Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hurricane Matthew and Florida's Nuclear Power Plants


Hurricane Matthew is raising alarms, as illustrated by this headline from ABC news (10/6/2016):

Hurricane Matthew Tracking Toward US, Prompting Evacuation Warning That 'This Storm Will Kill You' http://abcnews.go.com/US/hurricane-matthew-tracking-us-prompting-evacuation-warning-storm/story?id=42608853

I wondered about the safety of Florida's nuclear power plants in the context of hurricane flooding and winds.

Bloomberg reports on regional vulnerabilities in the power infrastructure:
Brian Sullivan. October 6, 2016. Hurricane Matthew Is a $15 Billion Threat Headed to Florida. Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-05/hurricane-matthew-is-a-15-billion-threat-headed-to-florida

Twelve U.S. power generators, including two nuclear plants, are in the storm’s path, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. One nuclear facility, NextEra Energy Inc.’s Turkey Point in south Florida, is located just outside of the storm’s track. Nuclear operators NextEra Energy and Duke Energy Corp. said they would shut their reactors hours ahead of the onset of hurricane-force winds. 

The good news is that the npp operators said they would shut down their reactors prior to the arrival of hurricane winds.  However, we all know from Fukushima that hot reactor fuel and spent fuel stored on site must be continuously cooled with circulating water to avoid heat build up that will release radioactive elements into the environment.

Here is an informative article on the risks a the two nuclear power plants with relevant sourcing on the subject:
Sara Barczak. October 5, 2015. What if Hurricane Matthew Hits Florida’s Nuclear Reactors? http://blog.cleanenergy.org/2016/10/05/nuclearhurricanematthew/

Two nuclear power plants exist on Florida’s eastern coast: the St. Lucie and Turkey Point facilities. Based on the current National Hurricane Center projections, it appears that Hurricane Matthew will come closest to the St. Lucie nuclear facility early Friday morning. Storm surge near the St. Lucie nuclear reactors may reach 2-5 feet, and with hurricane force winds of 130 miles per hour. Meanwhile, a significant water quality problem in the Southeast is the ongoing pollution at Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) Turkey Point cooling canal system. It’s unclear what effects high winds and storm surge could have on Turkey Point’s open air industrial sewer. 
Sustained power outages pose significant risks even if reactors are shutdown prior to the storm's arrival.  Nuclear is simply too catastrophically risky!

We need energy production that doesn't threaten human and environmental annihilation.


9 comments:

  1. Got a bad feeling about this one.

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. Please delete the Cullen post Majia. From poster

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Please explain why I should delete it? Do you post it?

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  4. Because I have been threatened over making a comment about this subject before and it scares me. Sorry majia. I made the comment and got cold feet. Sometimes things too weird for people trying to even point out all the phenomenon of radionucleide poisoning and destruction. Guess you can leave it up. Not trying to cause trouble

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    1. I'll delete it. There is something twisted there - experienced it myself.

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  5. Good book and article summarizes the legacy of deadly Nuclear Trash and waste , at hanford, in sellafield, LaHague France, Gorleben germany. First time I saw this book, by Andrew Blowers, Majia recommended it.
    https://nuclear-news.net/2016/10/08/nuclear-power-leaves-a-terrible-legacy-of-radioactive-trash-new-book/

    Majia helps me understand nuclear issues with her strong intellect, her hard work, writing, and research. I find and her books are some of the best books on the nuclear issues, in the world today.

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