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Hurricane Delta not expected to significantly impact Gulf nuclear plants: US NRC

Highlights

1.2-GW Waterford-3 in Louisiana

992-MW River Bend-1 in Louisiana

1.5-GW Grand Gulf-1 in Mississippi

Washington — The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on its Facebook page that it does not expect Hurricane Delta to have significant impacts at nuclear power plants in Louisiana and Mississippi when it makes landfall the evening of Oct. 9.

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Those are the 1.2-GW Waterford-3 and 992-MW River Bend-1 plants in Louisiana and the 1.5-GW Grand Gulf-1 plant in Mississippi.

According to a 4:11 pm ET Oct. 9 forecast from the US National Weather Service, Delta will make landfall along the southwest coast of Louisiana around sunset Oct. 9 as a Category 2 hurricane "with storm surge, destructive winds, and dangerous inland flooding."

NRC said that personnel at all three plants "are taking severe weather precautions, performing walkdown inspections of outdoor equipment staging areas to verify that everything is properly tied down and topping off diesel fuel supplies."

Entergy spokesman Mike Bowling said in an email Oct. 9 that the plants "continue to function normally with no threats to operations."

Waterford-3 is offline for a scheduled refueling outage, while Grand Gulf-1 is at 83% of capacity and River Bend-1 at 100%, according to NRC's daily reactor status reports. Bowling confirmed the capacity levels at 3:46 pm ET.

"Steel-reinforced concrete containment structures protect the reactors, and redundant safety systems are designed to withstand the impact of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods greater than the historical regional maximum," Bowling said,

Entergy is continuing "to monitor the storms in conjunction with local, state and federal authorities," he added.

The plant sites are expecting sustained winds of about 40 mph with gusts into the 70-75 mph range, NRC said.