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General Discussion >> Hurricane History

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Reged: Wed
Posts: 51
Loc: Treasure Coast FL
dean's terminal run
      #77429 - Wed Aug 22 2007 05:12 AM

I was working at the Turkey Point nuclear plant when it was stuck by Cat 5 Andrew in 1992. Yes, the containment and reactor survived unscathed. There was no operating cooling tower (a cooling tower is a structure that uses cascading river water to provide cooling to water used to condense the steam generated by the plant) to be damaged, though, since Turkey Point uses a series of canals as a heat sink instead of a cooling tower (being a salt water cooled plant, a cooling tower would release a plume of salt spray that would devastate downwind vegetation). The nuclear safety related systems which were designed for the winds handled the storm, while the non-nuclear part of the plant was torn up significantly. The two nuclear units were down for several weeks for repair but were restarted later that year. An elevated water tank was destroyed (it looked like a spider God had stepped on) and disabled the fire water supply for the plant (portable pumps and a salt water cross-connect provided a fire water source after the storm until the normal supply was repaired). The elevated water tank was not rebuilt. The nuclear plant shares the site with two oil/gas powered fossil units and the smoke stack of one of these non-nuclear units was severely damaged, was intentionally toppled, and then rebuilt. This may be the tower you are thinking of. The site was without power for about a week due to damaged transmission lines in the area. Emergency diesel generators functioned well to maintain backup power during the event. The communications systems all failed after the storm and the first word the plant got out to nervously waiting authorities was from a portable radio calling the company radio shop in Miami! Now US nuclear plants have satellite phones that even work if the cell towers and land lines are destroyed. I would presume Laguna Verde (the Mexican nuclear unit) is built to similar standards and should be well hardened against hurricanes.

Earliest memory Hurricane Cleo!
Went under Hurricane Gloria!

Edited by mikethewreck (Wed Aug 22 2007 05:18 AM)

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