Hurricane Irene Watch ~ Saturday Aug 27; 0800

ANS Hurricane Nuclear Watch for
Saturday 08/27/11; 0800 eastern time; 1200 GMT

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There are no media reports this morning of any reactor shutdowns, but that may be a function of the wire services. The NRC website does not provide real time information on reactor status.  The Washington Post published this table of the expected progress of the storm over the next several days.

Timing of Impacts from Hurricane - Table source: Washington Post 08/27/11

The Weather Channel is reporting that the hurricane made landfall near Cape Lookout, NC, this morning with 85 mph winds. The NRC requires reactors to shut down when wind speeds exceed 74 mph. Expect closures later today and Sunday assuming wind speeds do not decrease over time.  See AP list of reactors below.

A live stream of the Weather Channel’s coverage of the hurricane’s progress up the east coast is found here.

Weather Channel

The Weather Channel explains here why this is such a dangerous storm – slow progress means high rainfall totals, as much as 10 inches predicted for New York, and a huge area of high winds, will lead to substantial property damage and power outages.

AP released a list of reactors in the hurricane’s path. CNN reported that the NRC sent additional inspectors to these plants to verify that preparations had been made to ride out the storm. The CNN report is a recap of an NRC press release.



Associated Press

Nuclear reactors sit on eight coastal sites along the Eastern seaboard in the projected path of Hurricane Irene. They are built to withstand winds much stronger than those expected from Irene. They are also equipped with backup generators protected from flooding to provide power to keep the reactor cool if outside power is lost. Still, some will likely be shut down as a precaution in advance of Irene’s winds and heavy rains.

North Carolina

Brunswick Nuclear Power Plant

Location: Near Southport, N.C., 30 miles south of Wilmington.

Operator: Progress Energy


Surry Power Station

Location: Surry County, Va., 35 miles northwest of Norfolk.

Operator: Dominion Resources


Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant

Location: Lusby, Md., 60 miles southeast of Washington.

Operator: Constellation Energy

New Jersey

Salem and Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Stations

Location: Lower Alloways Creek, NJ, 20 miles south of Wilmington, Del.

Operator: PSEG

Oyster Creek Generating Station

Location: Lacey Township, NJ, 60 miles east of Philadelphia.

Operator: Exelon


Millstone Power Station

Location: Waterford, Conn., 60 miles southeast of Hartford.

Operator: Dominion Resources


Pilgrim Nuclear Station

Location: Plymouth, Mass., 45 miles south of Boston.

Operator: Entergy

New Hampshire

Seabrook Station

Location: Seabrook, NH, 45 miles north of Boston.

Operator: NextEra Energy

One thought on “Hurricane Irene Watch ~ Saturday Aug 27; 0800

  1. Martin Burkle

    “There are no media reports this morning of any reactor shutdowns, but that may be a function of the wire services. The NRC website does not provide real time information on reactor status.”
    Does this statement seem a little off to anyone but me? One of the lessons learned from the recent Japanese events should be that official sources like the NRC should post information in real time. Instead it looks like wire services know more than the NRC. In times of peril the NRC should be giving out information in real time!

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