Picking up the pieces after Hurricane Irene

The weather is perfect in King of Prussia, Pa., today. The sun is shining; the humidity is low; a slight breeze is blowing. It’s quite different from over the weekend when Hurricane Irene roared through the area, bringing with it high winds and heavy rain.

Two Region I nuclear power plants, which shut down during the storm, are in the process of restarting today. At Oyster Creek in Lacey Township, N.J., operators have already begun increasing power. The plant was shut down early Saturday evening as a precaution in preparation for Irene. The unit weathered the storm and plant workers have assured there was no damage to equipment or facilities.

Calvert Cliffs Unit 1 in Lusby, Md., was knocked off-line when some siding struck a transformer, causing a turbine trip, which in turn caused a reactor trip. Workers there are also assessing equipment and making repairs before returning to power.

The other units in the region made it through the storm, although several reduced power as a precaution. In addition, electrical power to some emergency sirens was lost at several sites. While many sirens have had power restored or are running on backup power, contingency plans are in place to notify the public of an emergency, if necessary. Crews are working to get the remainder up and running.

The NRC had dispatched additional inspectors to nine sites to supplement the resident inspectors during the storm. Those additional inspectors completed their work over the weekend and are back to their normal jobs today. The resident inspectors are busy carrying out our inspection program and assuring the plants are continuing to operate safely.

The NRC and the nuclear plant operators worked hard to assure that the plants were safe over the weekend. As we said before the hurricane hit, we were prepared to respond quickly and effectively had any problems developed.

Diane Screnci
Region 1 Public Affairs Officer

Author: Moderator

Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

4 thoughts on “Picking up the pieces after Hurricane Irene”

  1. I am glad that the plants are safe after the Hurricane. Maybe it really helps that you are prepared to respond quickly and effectively as the hurricane hits the place. It is nice to know that the NRC and the nuclear plant operators worked hard.

    /Kristen B.

  2. It’s interesting that the news coverage was very minimal about the two nuclear plants that had been shutdown during the storm. But it’s comforting to know that they have been kept safe.

  3. Great article. I don’t think many people are aware of the nuclear power plants that are in the storm path. The news always shows the guy driving his boat down a flooded street. ….Steve Ruza

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