The Brunswick nuclear plant has declared an “unusual event” after the flooded area of Florence limited access to the facility.
(Nuclear Regulatory Commission )
A nuclear power plant just outside of Wilmington, North Carolina declared an “unusual event” on Monday after rising water and the storm caused damage is limited access to the facility, the officials said.
Duke Energy Brunswick nuclear power plant – located about 30 miles south of Wilmington – has declared the state of emergency, the lowest required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, after the weigh in around the 1200-acre complex was affected by flooding and downed trees.
“None of the roads are in good condition,” NRC spokesman Joey Ledford told the News & Observer. “The plant is safe. The reactors are in hot standby mode 3 exit.”
Ledford told Fox News in an e-mail that the twin-reactor of the nuclear power plant is stable and poses no threat to public safety, if the water is still not in the decor or threatened of all major equipment.
The plant can be approached by a route by water, but because there are not multiple routes available, the plant was placed under a “special event,” said Ledford. A spokesperson for Duke Energy told Fox News the plant remains safely shut down,” after formwork activities for Florence hurricane-force wind came up.
The spokesperson added that there is no flooding at the plant site, but the area is not fully accessible at this time. Some employees who live locally have been able to leave the nuclear plant and check on their homes, while others have made trips to the local shops for supplies, the spokesperson added.
Hurricane Florence: Drone footage shows devastation from the air
Drone footage over North Carolina puts the massive flooding of Hurricane Florence in perspective.
The Brunswick plant’s two reactors are the same design as those in Fukushima, Japan, which greatly exploded and leaked radiation after the 2011 magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami. After the disaster, federal regulators required all US nuclear plants to perform upgrades to better withstand earthquakes and floods.
Ledford told Fox News that both devices still external power, and that essential plant workers and NRC inspectors remain on a website, although storm damage was “limiting the access to the site by personal vehicles.”
Before the storm came, the NRC sent additional inspectors and staff will provide around-the-clock support during the storm.
HURRICANE FLORENCE IS A POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC PATH CONTAINS ‘AT-RISK’ NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
One of those “storm riders,” Daniel Bacon, told the News & Observer that the employees sleep on beds and the use of portable toilets, because the water is shut off by the decor and the toilets could not flush.
Water surround houses in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Newport, N. C., Monday, Sept. 17, 2018.
(AP Photo/Tom Copeland)
“It’s a little like camping,” Bacon told the newspaper. “Everyone is treatment is very good. I haven’t heard any complaining.”
A shipment of food was delivered by helicopter on Monday morning, and another delivery is expected later in the day, he told the News & Observer. Bacon added that he does not know when the floods would disappear to the point of the “special event” could be lifted.
A spokesperson for Duke Energy told Fox News that the company has brought in additional supplies by aircraft with the help of a helipad on the site.
At least 17 people have died in North Carolina of Florence.
WEAKENED FLORENCE REMAINS DANGEROUS AS IT WORKS ITS WAY UP TO THE NORTH
With effect from Monday, 17 people were killed by the storm in North Carolina, according to Gov. Roy Cooper, that the addition of the crisis continues” in the state.
“For many parts of North Carolina, the danger is still immediately,” he said at a press conference on Monday. “Water still rising rivers crest, and they will for days.”
According to the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, there are 12 nuclear power plants in the Carolina’s that electricity for the region. These plants generally live near a body of water, because they require a constant source of water for cooling.
•At least 6 nuclear plants in danger
•9 primary steel mills in the storm path
•EPA monitoring 9 toxic waste clean up locations near Carolina
•Flooding concerns w/ hog manure pits, coal ash dumps
→ Duke Energy operates 24+ coal ash pits pic.twitter.com/PIbEqfziZu
— Fox News Investigation (@FoxNewsResearch) September 12, 2018
The Brunswick facility has two nuclear reactors, which began operation in 1975 and 1977, according to Duke Energy. The plant has a capacity of 1,870 megawatts, enough to power more than a million homes. It was published on 20 year extension to its operation license in 2006, which now runs to 2034.
Fox News’ Lucia Suarez contributed to this report.
Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed