Monday, September 11, 2017

Nuclear Power Plants and Hurricane Irma: Now Savannah River Site at Risk from Flooding


Finding information about nuclear reactors and nuclear sites at risk from Irma flooding and winds is challenging.

I've been following the Turkey Point and St Lucie npps in Florida over the last few days (see blog posts). Today, Florida Power and Electric told Reuters that they were planning on bringing up the power on 1 reactor that had been powered down (but not "off," apparently) at St Lucie Nuclear Power Plant in Florida.

Florida Power and Electric claims that they also plan on re-starting the reactors at Turkey Point, one of which was shut down in anticipation of the storm. The other reactor there was scrammed in a quick shut down, reportedly due to a valve issue "unrelated to Irma":
FPL begins to bring back nuclear reactors after Irma (2017, September 11). Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/article/storm-irma-nuclearpower/fpl-begins-to-bring-back-nuclear-reactors-after-irma-idUSL2N1LS123
FPL also closed the two reactors at Turkey Point, shutting one unit on Saturday as Irma approached. It shut the other unit a valve issue unrelated to Irma, the company said earlier on Monday.

I don't see anything at all about South Carolina's nuclear facilities, although Business Insider warned that the track could impact the Savannah River Site (I recommend reading this article entirely):
Hurricane Irma may plow into a site full of Cold War-era nuclear waste. Business Insider, (Sep 8 2017). http://www.businessinsider.com/hurricane-irma-cold-war-nuclear-waste-flooding-2017-9
  • There's a chance the damaging winds and heavy rainfall could affect Savannah River Site, a large Cold War-era nuclear reservation in South Carolina.
  • The site hosts tens of millions of gallons of liquid nuclear waste in storage tanks, plus burial grounds filled with contaminated objects.
  • SRS said its facilities are "able to withstand extreme natural events including hurricanes and floods."
News on flooding near the Savannah River site is hard to find.

CNN is reporting Savannah River is up to 12 feet.
Holly Yan, Darran Simon and Faith Karimi (2017, September 11) Irma: Flooding hits Jacksonville, Charleston and Savannah, CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/11/us/hurricane-irma-weakens-to-category-1-storm/index.html
You can learn more about the Savannah River Nuclear Contamination issues here: http://www.srs.gov/general/programs/soil/gen/gw_mgmt_strategy_and_implementation_plan.pdf

 

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