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Nuclear Energy Institute
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 28, 2011
Contact: media@nei.org, 202.739.8000 or 703.644.8805 (after hours and weekends)

Impact of Hurricane Irene on US Nuclear Energy Facilities

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.

North Carolina:

Brunswick 1 and 2 – temporarily reduced power output to 65 percent of electric generating capacity.

Virginia:

Surry 1 and 2 – continued operating at 100 percent power

Maryland:

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

New Jersey:

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

Pennsylvania:

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

New York:

Indian Point 2 and 3 – continued operating at 100 percent power

Connecticut:

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

Massachusetts:

Pilgrim 1 – continued operating at 100 percent power

New Hampshire:

Seabrook 1 – continued operating at 100 percent power

Vermont:

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."