Preparation. This is a hallmark of how we operate nuclear plants. We always prepare, follow procedures, and in May, we pay close attention to our inclement weather plans as hurricane season is right around the corner. The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1 and lasts through Nov. 30.
In 2017, there were 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and six major hurricanes making it one of the most active hurricane seasons on record. Nuclear plants from Texas to the Carolinas weathered those storms safely. As we prepare for what forecasters warn will be an active 2018 hurricane season, here are a few ways nuclear sites prepare for hurricanes:
In the days leading up to a storm, items that could potentially be blown away or become airborne are tied down.
Emergency equipment, such as generators and pumps, are checked to ensure full operability.
A visual inspection of the site is conducted to further ensure water and wind will not affect essential equipment.
Critical supplies are checked and stocked, including assuring there is enough food and water on site to sustain workers in the event they have to stay on-site for many days.
Nuclear sites reach out to local and federal emergency preparedness stakeholders in the days leading up to the storm to ensure understanding of the actions underway.
Nuclear plants are built to withstand natural disasters and many other emergencies, no matter how unlikely. There is a long history of withstanding storms, floods, blizzards, high winds, extreme cold and heat, and even a solar eclipse.
Nuclear energy generates carbon-free, life-essential electricity around-the-clock to power the lives of our communities. When a hurricane is forecasted, we are ready. If there is damage to the electrical grid, we are there to generate electricity to power hospitals and communities as soon as they can safely receive power again. Our preparation and design help us serve our communities, even if Alberto, Florence or Sara come to town.