Fukushima-enhanced flood concerns addressed

 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has signed off on the flood protection improvements Duke Energy completed at its oldest nuclear power plant.
Concerns about flooding at the utility’s three-unit Oconee Nuclear Plant -- including the potential failure of the Jocassee Dam, located about 12 miles upstream from the plant – were addressed in a 2008 NRC staff letter.
After a tidal wave damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in 2011, the agency requested additional information on flooding as it worked to ensure that lessons learned from the situation in Japan were applied to U.S. plants including Oconee.
Duke submitted its flood hazard reevaluation report in 2013 and a revised report in 2015. The NRC accepted the modifications in that 2015 report as adequately protecting the Seneca, SC nuclear plant from a potential failure of the Jocassee Dam.
In April, Duke informed the NRC that the flooding modifications – including enhanced flood walls as well as moving some power lines and equipment to less flood-prone locations -- were complete, and a subsequent inspection led the NRC to determine that the company had satisfied its commitments, the commission said Monday.
-- Jim Brumm

Brunswick Nuclear Plant north of Southport, NC near the mouth of the Cape Fear River.
The NRC approved its preparedness to withstand a storm surge in early 2014
Photo of sunrise by K. Williams.