Miami, FL–The Nuclear Regulatory Commission had dispatched additional inspectors to the Turkey Point nuclear plant south of Miami and the St. Lucie nuclear plant on the east coast of Florida in advance of Hurricane Irma.
The NRC activated its regional incident response center in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday as the agency prepared for the effects of the hurricane on those nuclear plants and other NRC- licensed facilities near the path of the storm.
Both the Turkey Point and St. Lucie plant staff declared an unusual event, the lowest of the NRC emergency classifications, late Thursday evening when a hurricane warning was issued for South Florida.
In preparing for Hurricane Irma, the staff at Turkey Point, St. Lucie and other plants in the Southeast were working through severe weather procedures, including ensuring that all loose debris and equipment has been removed or secured and conducting walk-downs of important systems and equipment.
NRC inspectors have verified that all of the preparations were completed, and the plants’ emergency diesel generators are available to be used if the storm affects off-site power supplies.
The NRC has additional inspectors in Florida now, and is also prepared to dispatch region- based inspectors or inspectors from unaffected plants to other sites in the region, should it become necessary.
From the NRC Region II incident response center in Atlanta, NRC staff members will monitor Hurricane Irma while remaining in contact with plant operators, NRC on-site inspectors, the NRC’s headquarters operations center, and state emergency officials in Florida and other potentially affected states.
The NRC inspectors will remain at the nuclear plant sites and the incident response center will remain staffed until the agency is assured that the storm no longer poses a risk to these facilities.