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by James Conca (at Forbes)

Hurricane Florence, a potentially devastating Category 2 hurricane is on track to make landfall in the Carolinas sometime within 24 hours after this morning, Thursday, September 13. With winds up to 130 miles per hour, Florence could be the most powerful storm to hit so far north in the United States - ever.

hurricaneFlorenceNASA-NOAA satellite image of the Atlantic Ocean captured on September 11, 2018 at 11:45 AM EDT showing Hurricane Florence approaching the east coast with Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Helene fast on her heels.NASA/NOAAUnfortunately, Tropical Storm Isaac, and Hurricane Helene are fast on her heels (see figure). Isaac is expected to upgrade to a hurricane before landfall.

Along with most everyone else, nuclear power plants in North and South Carolina, as well as Virginia, have been preparing for the natural onslaught.

Hurricane Florence will most likely hit two nuclear power plants operated by Duke Energy - their 1,870 megawatt (MW) Brunswick and 932MW Harris nuclear plants in North Carolina. If Florence turns north, it could also hit Dominion Energy's 1,676MW Surry plant in Virginia. Brunswick is expected to get a direct hit.

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is watching carefully. But no one is really worried that much will happen, contrary to lots of antinuclear fearmongering. Power outages will occur as lines and transformers are destroyed and non-nuclear buildings get damaged, and it might takes a few days to a few weeks to bring power back up, something that includes all energy sources.

 

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