Hurricane Wilma has left 6 million Florida residents without power, and forced Florida Power and Light to shut down reactors at St. Lucie and Turkey Point as the hurricane approached:
FPL shut the 839-megawatt unit 2 at the St. Lucie nuclear power station and both 693 MW units at the Turkey Point nuclear power station as Wilma approached the Florida coast.Here's a statement from the NRC that was issued yesterday afternoon:
Nuclear power plants are robust structures built to sustain hurricane-force winds and other natural disasters but the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires the operators to shut the plants in advance of hurricane-force winds.
Officials at FPL said it was still too early to conduct a full assessment but initial reports showed the storm did not damage any of the company's power plants.
The 2,205 MW Turkey Point station is located in Florida City, in Miami-Dade County, about 25 miles south of Miami.
The 1,678 MW St Lucie station is located on Hutchinson Island, in St Lucie County, about 120 miles north of Miami. There are two 839 MW units 1 and 2 at St Lucie.
The company shut unit 1 for a planned eight-week refueling outage over the weekend of October 15-16.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has deactivated its headquarters and regional response centers that were monitoring Hurricane Wilma. The storm has moved past two nuclear power plants and storm damage to the sites is minimal. Further onsite and offsite inspections by NRC staff and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will determine the plants' abilities to restart in the near future.Our thoughts are with our friends at Florida Power and Light who are out in the field trying to get the power restored to the grid. For more on the utility's efforts to restore power to its customers, click here and here.
Earlier, the St. Lucie plant, near Ft. Pierce, and the Turkey Point plant, 25 miles south of Miami, were shut down before the storm. All safety systems at both plants are working normally and both plants continue to receive power from the region's electrical grid.
The NRC continues to maintain contact with plant personnel and NRC inspection staff on site. Backup communication methods are available at both sites if normal communications are lost. Communication links are also established and maintained with state emergency response officials and other federal response agencies.
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