The NRC is prepared for the Hurricane Sandy, with inspectors at all nuclear power plants that could potentially experience impacts from the storm. The inspectors are independently verifying that plant operators are making the proper preparations, are following relevant procedures and are taking appropriate actions to ensure plant safety before, during and after the storm.
In addition, the NRC is monitoring the storm from the Incident Response Center at its Region I Office in King of Prussia, Pa., and from the Operations Center at the agency’s headquarters in Rockville, Md. And the agency is in contact with FEMA.
Activities at all nuclear power plants are overseen on an ongoing basis by at least two NRC resident inspectors. In response to the storm, the agency will dispatch additional inspectors, with others on standby. The plants to receive enhanced oversight during the storm include: Calvert Cliffs, in Lusby, Md.; Salem and Hope Creek, in Hancocks Bridge, N.J.; Oyster Creek, in Lacey Township, N.J.; Peach Bottom, in Delta, Pa.; Three Mile Island 1, in Middletown, Pa.; Susquehanna, in Salem Township, Pa.; Indian Point, in Buchanan, N.Y.; and Millstone, in Waterford, Conn.
To ensure that lines of communications are maintained, the on-site inspectors are equipped with satellite phones.
Nuclear power plant procedures require that the facilities be shut down prior to any projected hurricane-force winds on-site. The plants’ emergency diesel generators are available if off-site power is lost during the storm. Also, all plants have flood protection above the predicted storm surge, and key components and systems are housed in watertight buildings capable of withstanding hurricane-force winds and flooding.
The storm has forced the closure of the agency’s headquarters and Region I, with the exception of emergency personnel. The NRC’s independent Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) has already cancelled its subcommittee meetings for Tuesday and Wednesday morning. The ACRS currently expects to be able to continue as planned for the meeting of the Fukushima Subcommittee on Wednesday afternoon, and the full committee meeting on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Also because of the storm, the NRC has postponed Tuesday’s scheduled Commission briefing on the status of the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant. The briefing will be rescheduled. Please check our Public Meetings Page and the Commission Schedule on our website for updates. The meeting between NRC officials and officials of the Omaha Public Power is still scheduled for Nov. 15 in Blair, Neb.
Residents in the path of the storm can get information on hurricane preparedness at www.ready.gov .Eliot Brenner Public Affairs Director