As if the idea of Irma hitting wasn’t bad enough, things may be even worse than we thought. Nuclear plant meets hurricane? Uh oh!
It appears that there are two nuclear sites in Florida that are in the path of Hurricane Irma. While plant owners claim that they will survive the storm their durability is being questioned. Not to mention the fact that one of these plants is already leaking! These 2 plants are the Turkey Point plant and the St. Lucie plant.
Florida Light & Power owns both sites and their spokesman Peter Robbins has said the following on the issue:
“St. Lucie was originally designed and built decades ago to withstand flooding and hurricanes. It’s designed beyond the most severe natural disasters we’ve ever seen in the region. It’s absolutely designed to withstand extreme flooding.”
After the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear crisis back in 2011 (that is still a very real issue) the industry is said to have really stepped up on how prepared they are for this kind of thing. According to TC Palm, the industry has set up two regional response centers that have equipment that could be airlifted to a crippled nuclear plant if the need occurred. They also have backup generators on hand if the reactors are shut down.
Turkey point has been deemed as resilient against natural disasters according to a report from 1993 that was sponsored by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and the US Regulatory Commission. It has successfully survived a Category 5 hurricane before (Hurricane Andrew) and was secure. With that being said, it did sustain about $90 million in damages.
The main concern at this point, is that the Turkey Point plant’s old cooling canal system has been leaking polluted water into Biscayne Bay. Just this past year the New York Times reported on a study that found elevated levels of ammonia, phosphorus, tritium, and salt in nature. These are all frequently associated with nuclear power plants. The levels of tritium alone were enough for the scientists to trace it back to the plant as a source.
The slow reaction remedy to this leak has many concerned about marine life. We are not sure at this time whether this hurricane will affect the leak or not. If Irma effects this plant things could become HORRIFYING. Robbins did mention, however, that if things get bad the plants will be shut down. Only time will tell how true their intentions are with that one.
If Irma hits Florida over the weekend things are going to get much worse. For more information on this check out the video below. What do you think about the impending threat that is Hurricane Irma?