No sooner does Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana open a nuclear fabrication plant in Lake Charles, as noted below, than nature comes a-knocking. A busy man is Governor Jindal. But not only for the state is hurricane Gustav an issue - Entergy has also had its hands full, with almost 900,000 homes and businesses without electricity in the state. This tops the damage done by hurricane Rita in 2005 but does not equal the notorious Katrina of 2006 - which means Entergy has had a miserable time of it, along with gulf coast residents, three of the last four years.
The nuclear news here is that Entergy shut down the River Bend plant in St. Francisville, La., not because the hurricane caused it any difficulties, but because, somewhat ironically, it was chugging away at full power. Because so many transmission lines went down and with them, any kind of demand - plus, as we saw on the news, New Orleanians and others bailed out ahead of the storm, reducing demand further - the plant risked flooding an already unstable grid.
We're thrilled to see that Gustav did not wreck the havoc Katrina did two years ago, though for the people living there, havoc enough. We'll keep an eye open and see how quickly Entergy is able to restore power and get River Bend back on line - they're unfortunately getting to be old hands at this.
We wish our friends at Entergy all the best in sorting out the tangled mess Gustav left them - as we know they are doing the best they know how to for their customers.