Beyond Nuclear – Home – Hurricane Irma bearing down on FL reactors, Hurricane Harvey water recedes from TX nuke


Turkey Point Units 3 & 4, Homestead, FLThe Texas Gulf Coast cleanup from Hurricane Harvey has just begun and flood waters receded from the South Texas Project (STP) nuclear power station near Bay City. While the Texas nuclear power plant dodged the bullet, now an extremely dangerous Hurricane Irma is barreling towards Florida. Four Florida Power & Light (FPL) reactors at two nuclear power stations (Turkey Point 3 & 4 and St. Lucie 1 & 2) on the Atlantic Coast are in the projected path of this Category 5 superstorm. Turkey Point 3 & 4, are located in Homestead, FL just south of Miami on the Biscayne Bay. St. Lucie 1 & 2 are on Hutchinson Island between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Indian River to the west. FPL continues to track Irma’s path and in anticipation of receiving hurricane force winds (presently 180 mph) announced that it will shut down the reactors in advance of Irma’s arrival to put the four atomic reactors in cold shutdown, their safest and most reliable condition.

By contrast with the approach of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, STP nuclear power station made the decision to remain at full power throughout the storm. In fact, STP never experienced sustained hurricane wind levels above the 73 mph threshold that would have required shutdown. The reactors never lost offsite power from the grid that would have automatically shut down the units. However, significant flooding of the STP evacuatoin planning zone did occur including flooding of the reactor site. Bay City, TX, located 12-miles from the STP reactor site is one of the nuclear emergency host recepetion centers. Matagorda County and Bay City officials had ordered two “mandatory evacuations” on

August 24 and 25 disrupting the nuclear emergeny plan in anticipation of Colorado River flooding. The mandatory evacuation was lowered to “voluntary evacuation at your own risk” on August 29. Bay City and Matagorda County personnel are vital participants in the STP radiological evacuation plan providing emergency workers, police, fire, medical support and evacuation bus drivers. Evacuations routes throughout the county became flooded and impassible.

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