Duke Energy shutting down North Carolina nuke plant ahead of Florence

Several nuclear power plants in North and South Carolina lie in the path of Hurricane Florence

USA power companies said more than 870,000 homes and businesses, mostly in North Carolina and SC, were without power on Saturday after Florence hit the Southeast coast.

However, The Union of Concerned Scientists, a science-oriented public policy organization, is concerned about the Brunswick plant's ability to withstand the storm, because of what the group says is a lack of publicly available information about the plant's readiness.

"Storm of a lifetime" Florence is still a few days out from landfall along the US coastline.

Duke Energy, which supplies electricity to communities in there different states, a 1,870-megawatt facility located about 30 miles south of Wilmington on North Carolina's southern coast, Weather.com reported.

Operators of nuclear plants in the Carolinas and Virginia are preparing for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall in the south-east of the United States of America later today.

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission resident inspectors at plants in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are reviewing the plants' hurricane preparations in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Florence, the agency said Wednesday in a statement.

Bobby Brown, 50, with his granddaughter Lyric, 1, during a power outage in Florence, South Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018. The number of dots at each location indicates the number of reactors housed at that station. Procedures require operators to shut down plants well before hurricane-force winds arrive on site. "Other plants near the storm's projected path are also taking precautions".

Duke officials watching the storm's track on Thursday chose to close down the Brunswick plant, which is located about four miles from the coast.

According to a 2004 NRC report, Brunswick was rated to be waterproof against a storm surge of up to 6.7 metres (22 feet). "Two, they have backup generators for power and we will rapidly assess any impacts to a nuclear power plant post-storm", Byard said in a call with media.

Engineers and staff will be remaining on site at the plant to monitor the situation.

"Those power plants are, one, obviously hardened".

With a major storm bearing down on these power plants, some thoughts are turning back to 2011, when Japan's Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant was impacted in the wake of the devastating March 11 natural disaster and tsunami. "We're satisfied they met current NRC requirements". The storm will be the first major hurricane of the season and will show how the sector responds after a trio of storms tested utility systems in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico a year ago - leaving some on the island without power for months.

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