WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. nuclear energy facilities have a long history of successfully and safely responding to natural challenges. See, "Through the Decades: The History of U.S. Nuclear Energy Facilities Responding to Natural Challenges." Nuclear power plants operating in 31 states provide electricity to one of every five U.S. homes and businesses.
The following is a summary of U.S. nuclear power plant performance during Hurricane Irene.
Brunswick 1 and 2 – temporarily reduced power output to 65 percent of electric generating capacity.
Surry 1 and 2 – continued operating at 100 percent power
Calvert Cliffs 1 – automatically and safely shut down, as designed, when a large piece of aluminum siding struck a transformer late Saturday; the power station immediately declared an unusual event, the lowest of four emergency classifications, and exited the unusual event Sunday morning; the reactor is still off-line.
Calvert Cliffs 2 – continued operating at 100 percent power
Oyster Creek – manually taken off-line approximately 5 p.m. EDT Saturday as a precaution
Salem 1 and 2 – continued operating at 100 percent power
Hope Creek 1 -- continued operating at 100 percent power
Susquehanna 1 and 2 – continued operating at 100 percent power
Three Mile Island 1 – continued operating at 100 percent power
Peach Bottom 2 and 3 – continued operating at 100 percent power
Limerick 1 and 2 – temporarily reduced power output to 97 percent and 92 percent of generating capacity respectively
Indian Point 2 and 3 – continued operating at 100 percent power
Millstone 2 and 3 – reduced power output to approximately 50 percent of generating capacity at both reactors upon request of ISO-New England for electric grid stability
Pilgrim 1 – continued operating at 100 percent power
Seabrook 1 – continued operating at 100 percent power
Vermont Yankee – continued operating at 100 percent power
“Nuclear energy facilities in the path of Hurricane Irene have responded well and responded safely to this storm,” said Scott Peterson, senior vice president at the Nuclear Energy Institute. “Every facility was ready to take any steps necessary to maintain safety, thanks to careful planning and deliberate storm preparations several days in advance of the storm. Highly trained operators and emergency response personnel were stationed at the plants throughout the weekend and were prepared to take actions beyond their usual duties to protect the power plants and communities that surround them. In the aftermath of the storm, operators are undertaking complete inspections of nuclear energy facilities to ensure that systems and equipment were not affected by the storm and that the plant’s condition is safe.
“Nuclear power plants are designed to withstand natural occurrences greater than those encountered in the regions where they are located. They are built to withstand floods, earthquakes and high winds, and have numerous safety systems that will operate and safely shut the reactor down in the event of a loss of off-site power. These plant designs are routinely reviewed and modifications are made to assure their integrity and safety."