"Inaccessible" North Carolina Nuclear Plant Declares "Unusual Event" During Storm-Driven "Hot Shutdown"

“None of the roads are passable,” Ledford said.

“The plant is safe. The reactors are in hot stand-by mode 3 shutdown.”

But as Intellihub reports, The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is being tight-lipped about an “unusual event” which occurred at the Brunswick Nuclear Plant last Saturday which forced a “hot shutdown” of both the plant’s Generation IV-type reactors 1 and 2.

The NRC classified the emergency as an “unusual event” but provided little to no details on the situation.

Additionally, the NRC reports that weather conditions from Tropical Storm Florence are currently preventing workers from accessing the plant.

“A hazardous event has resulted in on site conditions sufficient to prohibit the plant staff from accessing the site via personal vehicles due to flooding of local roads by Tropical Storm Florence.”

From the NRC regarding Event 53609:

h/t @tronictime

The current rector mode is showing as “hot shutdown” and more rain is on the way.

River waters in the area are expected to rise as much as 20 feet in the coming days. Not to mention, local dams in the area may be to capacity.

Brunswick is equipped with emergency backup diesel generators to operate essential equipment if the facility lost off-site power from the grid. Ledford said that the reactors never lost power and the generators never had to be activated.

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Comment by Galen Young on September 18, 2018 at 3:12pm

Doc Vega -I live in an area where our roads flood sometimes. What else can be done to 'prepare'? We park our cars on higher ground so they don't get washed away, that is about all you can do.

The facility does have generators, the power grid can go down and the facility will always have its own power. They are in a 'hot shutdown' which means at least one generator is running to keep the reactor core heated. As soon as the storm has passed all they have to do is to raise the rods and the power plant will be back online again. What additional 'redundant back up systems' can you think of?

Their only 'emergency' is that the operators can not go home at the end of their workshifts, they have to bunk onsite now.

Comment by Doc Vega on September 18, 2018 at 11:59am

t would seem to me that if they had plenty of time to prepare for the supposed hurricane how is it that something as crucial as a nuclear reactor facility would have redundant back up systems!

Comment by Elissa Snyder on September 17, 2018 at 11:15pm
Comment by Phyllis Maka on September 17, 2018 at 2:36pm

And this from Jim Stone, whilst this hurricane was still building up out at sea. This hurricane (they lose the energy, once they hit land) was purposely being steered to inland to cause much damage.

Comment by Galen Young on September 17, 2018 at 2:30pm

Storms of this magnatude are 'unusual events'.  Shutting down for the magnitude of this storm should be their normal Standard Operating Procedure.

Going to 'hot stand-by mode 3 shutdown' is the preferred mode for them to be in at this time. To go 'cold iron' is a lot more expensive as it requires a host of maintenance procedures to be performed.

The 'emergency' is the storm and its flooding. Plant operators are stuck on-site and can not go home to their families. So long as nobody suddenly has a burst appendix it is not a big deal.

I have worked with hundreds of Reactor Operators, being stuck 'on-site' for 90+ days in normal for them.


Comment by Phyllis Maka on September 17, 2018 at 2:22pm

Smell a rat -USGS also surveyed the Golan Heights Gaza, report came out 2010, now Israel is all over Gaza, parcelling out the rich oil fields to these energy moguls Rothschild, Rupert Murdoch etc.

Sep 13

Severe drought & 2012 US Geological Survey report claiming estimated 3.860 trillion cubic feet of natural gas within the Carolinas motive for being intentionally "steered" into Carolinas. Water is required to extract natural gas from underground & to mfg energy

Comment by Boris on September 17, 2018 at 1:06pm

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