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Protecting Turkey Point during Hurricane

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Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 3:35 pm | Updated: 3:39 pm, Fri Sep 8, 2017.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has 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 expects to activate its regional incident response center in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday as the agency prepares for the effects of the hurricane on those nuclear plants and other NRClicensed facilities near the path of the storm. The Turkey Point 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.

The NRC expects the St. Lucie plant staff to also declare an unusual event when that plant site is included in an expanded hurricane warning area. In preparing for Hurricane Irma, the staff at Turkey Point, St. Lucie and other plants in the Southeast are 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.

The NRC is satisfied that these actions will adequately protect the public during this hurricane. NRC inspectors are verifying that all of the preparations have been 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 regionbased 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.

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