Two Nuclear Power Plants In Florida Are Directly In The Path Of Hurricane Irma

Authored by Michael Snyder via The American Dream blog,

Hurricane Irma is more powerful than all of the other major Atlantic storms this year combined, and it has an eye as large as the entire Detroit metro area. It is being reported that “upwards of 90%” of Barbuda has already been destroyed by the storm, and it is being projected that some areas of Puerto Rico could be without power “for between four and six months”. You may want to view these photos and these videos to get a better idea of the immense destructiveness of this very powerful storm. The latest forecasts have Hurricane Irma making landfall in Florida, but so far the two nuclear power plants in Florida that would be directly in the path of the storm have not even started the process of shutting down

In anticipation of powerful Hurricane Irma, which projections on Wednesday showed headed straight for South Florida, Florida Power & Light’s two nuclear plants were finalizing staffing plans and cleaning up the grounds.


But neither Turkey Point nor the St. Lucie plant further up the coast had made the call yet to shutting down the plants.

Peter Robbins, spokesman for FPL, said shutting down a reactor is a gradual process, and the decision will be made “well in advance” of the storm making landfall.

Robbins said the plant’s reactors are encased in six feet of steel-reinforced concrete and sit 20 feet above sea level. Turkey Point has backup generators, extra fuel and, as a “backup to the backup,” replacement parts and materials can be flown in from Tennessee.


The St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant is equally protected, Robbins said, and can withstand severe flooding from storm surges. St. Lucie’s nuclear plant survived Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2005 and Wilma the year after.


When the eye of Andrew passed over Turkey Point, some facilities around the reactor buildings took a beating. Ultimately, the state’s oldest nuclear plant suffered $90 million in damages, including to systems that were supposed to be hurricane-proof.


One of the 400-foot smokestacks for the old oil-burning power plant was cracked in half, even though it was rated to survive 235-mph winds. Andrew blew down all but six of the 41 warning sirens within 10 miles of the plant. The storm left the plant running on backup generators for more than a week to cool the shut-down reactor. A main access road was blocked by debris.


“It handled Andrew as it was designed to,” Robbins said. “It’s one of the safest and most robust structures in the state, of not the country.”

ZH: One word comes to mind hearing all this - "contained."

We all remember what happened with Fukushima, and we definitely do not want to see a repeat on U.S. soil. The Fukushima nuclear disaster changed millions of minds about the safety of nuclear power, and as a member of Congress I will do all that I can to encourage the development of our solar power, wind power and geothermal power capabilities.

Let us hope that Hurricane Irma weakens before it gets to Florida, because the destruction that it is causing right now is off the charts. When it made landfall in Barbuda, there were some wind gusts that were “above 215 mph”

Irma first made landfall in Barbuda — an island with a population of about 1,600 — around 1:47 a.m. ET Wednesday. Local weather stations there captured wind gusts of 155 mph before going silent, indicating the instruments had been blown away. Irma’s sustained winds have been reported at 185 mph, with gusts above 215 mph.

When you have winds that high, there is little that you can do to prepare. According to one top official, “upwards of 90%” of Barbuda has already been destroyed…

At least one death was reported in Barbuda, according to ABS TV Antigua. Charles Fernandez, minister of foreign affairs and international trade for Antigua and Barbuda, told ABS that destruction on Barbuda was “upwards of 90%.”


Irma destroyed government buildings, tore roofs from houses and left northern Caribbean islands without power or communications.

Considering what has already happened in the Caribbean, it astounds me that Miami is not being evacuated yet. If all of these communities in the south Florida area try to wait until the last minute to evacuate, it is going to create a traffic nightmare of epic proportions. According to CNN, we could be looking at “one of the largest mass evacuations in US history”…

Based on Irma’s projected path, which includes Florida’s heavily populated eastern coast, the enormous storm could create one of the largest mass evacuations in US history, CNN senior meteorologist Dave Hennen said. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties combined have about 6 million people.


Monroe County, home to the Florida Keys, has already ordered mandatory evacuations. Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, issued a mandatory evacuation Wednesday for areas east of Federal Highway.

There is still a chance that the storm may not hit Florida at all, and let us hope that is the case.

Sadly, there are some out there that actually want the storm to hit Florida. In fact, some leftists on Twitter are actually rooting for the storm to destroy President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

How can people be so cruel? When I first made the decision to jump into the world of politics, I thought that I would be able to avoid much of the nastiness, but I quickly found out that people are going to call me all sorts of names too. I am starting to understand why it is so hard to get good people to run for office, because there is a great price to be paid for putting yourself out there.

In this situation, my hope is that people down in south Florida won’t wait for a formal evacuation order and will start getting out well ahead of this storm. According to CNBC, Hurricane Irma could cause a quarter of a trillion dollars in damage if it is still a category 5 storm once it reaches Miami…

But if it stays a Category 5 and hits Miami, the $125 billion estimate could be doubled, making it by far the costliest storm ever. At $105.8 billion, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 is currently the leader, though Hurricane Harvey, which struck Houston two weeks ago, could well surpass that total.

Can you imagine what a quarter of a trillion dollars of damage would look like?

And let us not forget that another hurricane is following right behind Irma. This could easily become the worst hurricane season in all of U.S. history, and we still have many more weeks to go before the season is over.

Meanwhile, a disaster of another sort is unfolding out west. Large portions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana are literally on fire. One of the reasons why we are having such a huge problem with wildfires out west is because the federal government is not properly managing public lands. So when these fires hit areas controlled by the feds, they tend to burn more intensely than they should. I intend to fight to have control of those lands transferred to state governments, and I hope that you will support my efforts. Here in Idaho, it has been estimated that we have more than a trillion dollars worth of natural resources under our feet, and if we can get full control of our public lands it would end our state budget problems permanently.

Our world is increasingly becoming a very unstable place, and we are certainly seeing evidence of that this month.

Let us hope that things start settling down, but unfortunately I don’t think that is going to happen any time soon…


idea_hamster BennyBoy Thu, 09/07/2017 - 09:35 Permalink

"In fact, some leftists on Twitter are actually rooting for the storm to destroy President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. How can people be so cruel?"LOL It's only an empty building but it's the only thing that he cares about. Soooo cruel to think Turmp might feel some of the pain he causes others.  Get some perspective. 

In reply to by BennyBoy

remain calm idea_hamster Thu, 09/07/2017 - 09:52 Permalink

CBLIThe only known effective antidote for Radiation Toxicity is made but this company, their is no doubt it is safe and effective. Problem, Russian owned company in Buffalo NY with ties to Putin friends. It will never get approved, POLITICAL, So Americans may day because the deep state will not let Putin friends make money. FUCK UP, SICK.

In reply to by idea_hamster

Kotzbomber747 (not verified) jcaz Thu, 09/07/2017 - 12:38 Permalink

More National Enquirer-like sensationalism and badly researched scaremongering.I fail to see the similarity between a hurricane in Florida and an earthquake + tsunami in Japan, plus those FL nuclear power stations have already been there through countless other hurricanes and tropical storms.

In reply to by jcaz

TuPhat remain calm Thu, 09/07/2017 - 10:41 Permalink

Snyder, blow your nose and stop whining.  US nuclear plants are safe.  Tyler definitely should do some research before they post BS but they are in the doom and gloom business just like Snyder.  The only reason the plants even shut down for a hurricane is just in case something adverse happens and the plant trips it would take more time and work to restart than if it is shut down on purpose.  They could keep running and the only problem would be what to do with the power if the lines are down.  They only need the diesel generators if the lines are down and the plants are shut down.  So, the only reason to shut down is to avoid a reactor trip (which also shuts down safely) and save money.

In reply to by remain calm

Jim in MN TuPhat Thu, 09/07/2017 - 10:58 Permalink

The above post is emblematic of the culture of nuclear safety.  You never assume it's safe or that everything is fine.  High stress events can overcome complex systems.So don't bug on ZH, this site IS ABOUT TAIL RISK for Christ's sake.  If you try to deny that tail risk exists you just expose yourself as an idiot or a shill.We're not stupid here.  Tyler's post isn't about a 100% chance of failure.  It's about a very small chance of failure.  One of dozens of Irma related posts.Get some perspective.

In reply to by TuPhat

Not Too Important TuPhat Thu, 09/07/2017 - 12:01 Permalink

"Snyder, blow your nose and stop whining.  US nuclear plants are safe."Not if the repair parts from France are defective and no one wants to replace them, let alone acknowledge where they all are:'France's nuclear giant Areva admits to '400 irregularities' in power plant parts' "France's ailing nuclear giant, Areva, faced a major scandal on Tuesday after the country’s nuclear watchdog confirmed there have been “irregularities” in 400 parts produced in its reactors since 1965, and that “around 50 are currently in service in France’s nuclear power plant fleet”.“These irregularities consist in incoherencies, modifications or omissions in manufacturing dossiers,” ASN said in a statement. The revelation came hours after Areva’s director general admitted that 400 documents assessing whether parts of nuclear plants met required standards may have been "falsified”. The doubts over documents supposed to rubber-stamp the quality of parts destined for new-generation nuclear power reactors will be a cause for serious concern for the British government as it is poised to finalise a controversial, multi-billion pound contract to build reactors at Hinkley Point designed by Areva."… So, who is going to pay for this potential ELE disaster?'French Areva wants US Taxpayers Held Liable for Nuclear Accidents-Defective Nuclear Parts; Areva Gets Multimillion $ Contract for Equipment at Extra High Risk US Nuclear Power Station Despite Ongoing Areva Nuclear Parts Scandal'"Even as French government owned Areva’s defective nuclear parts scandal was already underway, Areva sent a comment to the US government saying that holding it and other nuclear equipment suppliers liable in the event of a nuclear accident was “unnecessary economic penalties” and that the US taxpayer should pay.And, of course, Areva would think that since Areva’s only still in existence because it is almost totally owned by the French government, i.e. French taxpayer. Even though a worldwide inspection of potentially defective Areva nuclear equipment is about to get underway, Areva was given a multimillion dollar contract for equipment at what is arguably one of the world’s most dangerous nuclear power stations – located in a desert with no direct source of water and the most powerful in America."… 

In reply to by TuPhat

Decay is Constant remain calm Thu, 09/07/2017 - 12:39 Permalink

Been following this company from a professional aspect for a few years now.  Lots of animal models showing good success, but not a lot of human data.  Obviously no long term human data regarding safe and effective.  They were doing some testing on patients who were getting radiaiton therapy.  I haven't seen the results.It's supposed to be available to the government in "emergencies", but that's when they'll be collecting the real human information.Interesting stuff though.  Supposed to prevent the cells from dying.

In reply to by remain calm

TuPhat MK13 Thu, 09/07/2017 - 10:44 Permalink

I live near the South Texas nuclear plant.  They are back to work and producing power for all the people that live around here.  I like electricity it helps keep the food in the fridge from going bad.  People should think about how useful those wind turbines are in the forest fires.

In reply to by MK13

Not Too Important MK13 Thu, 09/07/2017 - 12:09 Permalink

They missed being completely flooded by the river cresting by less than 6 feet. A complete gamble with the lives of a hundred million people because they continued to run the reactors at 100% throughout the entire storm.Clearly a gamble taken without the consent of the potentially affected. I think it was in order to keep power to all the chemical plants in the Houston area that needed continuous cooling for many of the hazardous temperature-sensitive chemicals produced there, like the stuff that blew up at the Arkema facility. 

In reply to by MK13

canadian shenanigans Manthong Thu, 09/07/2017 - 09:47 Permalink

Humm, I'm french, meaning are not the same in english...  we can say it like this : ''La colonne d'eau débordait les bords de la pipe et coulerait vers le bas à travers la chaleur, la queue péniblement endormie dans son rectum en utilisant le volume qu'il n'avait pas à épargner....''. I love my mother tongue and French poetry. Enough said about Hillary for today.

In reply to by Manthong

Manthong Solio Thu, 09/07/2017 - 10:34 Permalink

..good new info .... makes sense
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Gee…. I have engineered many contactor/relay stations… ..all of them freaking waterproof One does not need to be a genius to do that, butt... if the mouse ears at disney are glowing day-glow pink..  bail out.

In reply to by Solio