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“ a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” Matthew 7:26-27, KJV
Look at the location of St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station! It is on a thin barrier island off of the mainland and surrounded by water! A mentally disabled person would never be foolish enough to build a nuclear power station here on a barrier island (sandbar). Especially after Hurricane Camille, only a nuclear “genius” could come up with some far-fetched justification of why it was ok to construct a nuclear power station on a barrier island off of the coast of the Florida mainland.
Hurricane Camille split Ship Island in two forming “Camille Cut”, which is 3.5 miles wide. And, for that matter, none of the nuclear power stations in coastal and near coastal areas of the United States should have been built, post-Camille. And, what insane and/or evil individual(s) wanted to put it (and them) there? Nuclear “snowbirds”?
In 1969 Hurricane Camille made landfall with estimated sustained winds of up to 190 mph and gusts exceeding 230 mph. Camille had a storm surge of 24 to 28 ft, whereas St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station, which received a construction permit in 1970, supposes a wave runup of 17.2 ft and they estimate 100 year extreme winds of 120 mph, and supposedly have a design hurricane windspeed of 194 mph for the Class I Buildings (a definition which can’t be easily found, if at all, but is probably the reactor buildings). St. Lucie nuclear power station grade elevation is 18.5 feet and the minimum elevation of building openings is 19.5 ft. Note that Hurricane Matthew still has 140 mph winds as of 7 pm EDT, 2300 UTC.
In 1969, when Hurricane Camille made landfall, there were no nuclear power stations along the Gulf Coast. Nor were there nuclear power stations along the Florida coast. Thus, these nuclear power stations were built with full knowledge of the risks.
Hurricane Camille split Ship Island barrier island into two halves, resulting in the “Camille Cut”. Much further north in New York, the Shinnecock Inlet was formed during the 1938 Hurricane and still remains today. Clearly, neither the nuclear industry nor its lackeys at the US NRC nor their predecessors would ever allow themselves to be impeded by facts or common sense. Thus, St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station was built on a barrier island off of the Florida Coast (Mainland). And, “surge heights on the mainland may not accurately reflect surge heights on the barrier islands“, notes the USGS. Hurricane Camille came in to the west of Ship Island. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1161/OFR-2007-1161-screen.pdf
Hurricane Camille half hour documentary: http://youtu.be/3XSF_V3BXWQ
The operator of St. Lucie, FPL, apparently hasn’t even bothered to reduce power at St. Lucie Reactor 2, which would be the minimum of preparation. Waterford and Grand Gulf powered down for Hurricane Katrina, and they aren’t even on the coast. St. Lucie Reactor 1 is in refueling outage: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/reactor-status/ps.html [Update – FPL apparently started powering down St. Lucie at 11.15 am EDT on Thursday. The US NRC only bothered to mention it much later in response to a question in the comment section. See: http://nukeprofessional.blogspot.com/2016/10/as-matthew-churn-into-florida-at-up-to.html Althought 1/3rd of customers in St. Lucie Co. are reported as without power, St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station isn’t one, says the US NRC. This suggests that they are robbing power from others. See much more on this topic at the bottom of this blog post.]
What about the offsite power which is needed? Did FPL run cables under-water? Not on your life! The powerlines cross the water. Here are the powerlines for St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station. Onshore they even run over the hurricane evacuation route! And, what if the backup generators fail?
In August of 1969, Hurricane Camille made landfall in Mississippi with estimated sustained winds of 175 mph to 190 mph (280 to 305 km/h) and gusts exceeding 230 mph (370 km/h). Camille’s storm surge was over 24 feet (7.3 m), based on high-water marks in the only three surviving buildings. A water mark within the Richelieu Apartments, minutes before it collapsed, indicated a surge height of 28 ft (8.5 m). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Camille
Camille is dark purple line for Category 5 tracking near Waveland.
The dark purple line below appears to be 1935 Labor Day Hurricane. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1935_Labor_Day_hurricane
It hit the Florida Keys (offshore islands) as a Category 5, then it became a lighter purple Category 4 – presumably the Florida Keys absorbed some of its destructive power. This means that Camille is the most powerful to have hit the US mainland. The other light purple may be the 1919 Florida Keys Hurricane: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1919_Florida_Keys_hurricane
The more recent Hurricane Katrina made its final landfall as a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 120 mph (190 km/h): “Katrina’s powerful right-front quadrant passed over the west and central Mississippi coast, causing a powerful 27-foot (8.2 m) storm surge, which penetrated 6 miles (10 km) inland in many areas and up to 12 miles (19 km) inland along bays and rivers; in some areas, the surge crossed Interstate 10 for several miles…. The highest unofficial reported wind gust recorded from Katrina was one of 135 mph (217 km/h) in Poplarville, in Pearl River County.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina [Poplarville is well inland.]
Long before Camille, long before Hurricane Matthew, the book of Matthew even warned that building on sand was a bad idea: “Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn’t do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” Matthew 7:26-27, World English Bible
St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station Shoreline on Hutchinson Island
The US NRC Found (Less Obvious) Problems During the Flood Walkdown
“The NRC has also determined that the failure to install internal flood barriers in conduits that penetrated the Unit 1 reactor auxiliary building (RAB) exterior wall at elevations below the design flood height and the failure to identify those missing flood barriers during flooding walkdowns… are violations… the NRC has concluded that an additional violation….degraded and missing flood penetration seals at St. Lucie Unit 1 and Unit 2…. failed to identify missing internal flood barriers on six conduits that penetrated the Unit 1 RAB wall below the design basis external flood elevation. This condition was identified when the site experienced a period of unusually heavy rainfall on January 9, 2014, and approximately 50,000 gallons of water entered the -0.5 foot elevation of the RAB through two of the six degraded conduits in the ECCS pipe tunnel…. Unit 1 UFSAR Section 3.4.1, “Flood Elevations,” states that wave runup of 17.2 feet from the probable maximum hurricane (PMH) is possible… Licensee Event Report (LER) 05000335/2012-010-00, dated December 27, 2012, was inaccurate and incomplete in that it only discussed the flooding effects from a probable maximum hurricane (PMH), and did not discuss potential limiting conditions involving the duration of a precipitation event or the possibility of site pooling when determining the impact of the degraded and missing flood seals on water intrusion into the Unit 1 and Unit 2 RABs. The safety evaluation documented in the LER was based on non– conservative assumptions regarding site flood inundation times. Consequently, the LER did not identify that the Unit 2 missing or degraded flood seals represented an inoperable condition prior to the implementation of compensatory measures and the LER did not identify that the charging pumps on Unit 1 would also have been impacted as a result of the flood barrier degradation. Additionally, the LER did not identify and evaluate the effect of the missing internal flood barriers in six conduits that penetrated the Unit 1 RAB wall…. The NRC determined that the licensee’s report was inaccurate and incomplete in that it failed to include the missing conduit seals on six conduits in the Unit 1 ECCS pipe tunnel adjacent to the RAB as non-conforming items. In addition, the licensee’s report failed to identify that the Unit 2 missing or degraded flood seals represented an inoperable condition prior to the implementation of compensatory measures.” http://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1432/ML14323A786.pdf
“From the St. Lucie 2 UFSAR, the once every 100 years extreme wind for the site is 120 mph, and Class I buildings are designed to withstand 300-mph tornado winds and a design hurricane wind speed of 194 mph. Also, from the St. Lucie UFSAR, reinforced concrete flood walls have been provided around structures in the plant to an elevation of +22 feet mean low water level ocean. The maximum calculated wave runup coincident with the maximum peak surge level is below the plant grade elevation of +18.5 feet and below the minimum elevation of +19.5 feet of any building openings. As previously stated, Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne impacted operation of the St. Lucie site, with winds of 105 mph and 120 mph, respectively, at landfall.” http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0533/ML053340263.pdf
St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station is also among the many which may have defective Areva-Le Creusot parts: Reactor Pressure Vessel closure heads-lids and Pressurizers
What if there had been a Nuclear Power Station on Ship Island when it split in two?
St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station
See Camille Cut on the map. This is the cover of a plan to fill it back in. Ship Island was further damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Fort Massachusetts on Ship Island isn’t near Camille Cut
“Camille produced the sixth lowest official sea level pressure ever recorded in the Atlantic basin, at 900 millibars (27 inHg). Minimum pressure at landfall in Mississippi was 900 millibars (27 inHg); the only hurricane to hit the United States with a lower pressure at landfall was the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. A reconnaissance flight indicated a pressure of 901 millibars (26.6 inHg), but this pressure was later corrected in 1969 by researchers to 919 mb (27.14 inHg). The wind speed of Camille can only be approximated, as no meteorological equipment survived the extreme conditions at landfall, but Camille is estimated to have had sustained winds of 190 mph (305 km/h) at landfall, with gusts exceeding 230 mph (370 km/h), although a reanalysis in April 2014 concluded that Camille had maximum winds of 175 mph (280 km/h) rather than the 190 beforehand. Before Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Camille likely had the highest storm surge measured in the United States, at over 24 feet (7.3 m).
The 24-foot (7.3 m) storm surge quoted by the Army Corps of Engineers was based on high-water marks inside surviving buildings, of which there were but three. Prior to the collapse of the Richelieu Apartments, Ben Duckworth shone a flashlight down a stairwell and found the water within one step of the third-story floor; this establishes a surge height of 28 feet (8.5 m) at that spot at that time. About 15 minutes later, the building collapsed and the evidence vanished with it.
In addition, Camille forced the Mississippi River to flow backwards for a river-distance of 125 miles (from its mouth to a point north of New Orleans). The river further backed up for an additional 120 miles (190 km), to a point north of Baton Rouge.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Camille What impact would that have on Waterford and Riverbend Nuclear Power Stations – built much, much later? Why did they suddenly decide to re-analyze Camille in 2014? The wikipedia reference is to a US Army Corps document but there is not a re-analysis. Was there a hidden agenda? An Army Corps agenda? Perhaps to argue that the levees do not have to be as strong?
“After making a brief initial landfall in Louisiana, Katrina had made its final landfall near the state line, and the eyewall passed over the cities of Bay St. Louis and Waveland as a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 120 mph (190 km/h). Katrina’s powerful right-front quadrant passed over the west and central Mississippi coast, causing a powerful 27-foot (8.2 m) storm surge, which penetrated 6 miles (10 km) inland in many areas and up to 12 miles (19 km) inland along bays and rivers; in some areas, the surge crossed Interstate 10 for several miles. Hurricane Katrina brought strong winds to Mississippi, which caused significant tree damage throughout the state. The highest unofficial reported wind gust recorded from Katrina was one of 135 mph (217 km/h) in Poplarville, in Pearl River County.”
MA Oct. 7th Update – TC Palm. com reported shortly after we posted our post that
St. Lucie had started powering down at 11.15 am. At around the same time (due to time differences the time probably appears earlier than it was) Stock at Nuke Professional Blogspot reported that it had powered down: http://nukeprofessional.blogspot.com/2016/10/as-matthew-churn-into-florida-at-up-to.html
A couple of hours earlier and well after we had given up searching for information, Stock at Nuke Pro got the US NRC to answer within a comment that St. Lucie had only started powering down on Thursday morning, well after hurricane warnings had been issued.
While 1/3rd of St. Lucie County customers remain without electricity, the US NRC claims that St. Lucie wasn’t one of them. So, did they rob other customers of power?
Today, Oct. 7th, from the US NRC:
“Hurricane Matthew and the NRC — UPDATED
UPDATE: While our thoughts are with the people who lost power or suffered damages in the storm, the St. Lucie nuclear plant experienced winds below hurricane strength and did not lose off-site power. The plant’s safety equipment and systems were not affected by the storm and both units remain safely shut down pending a “Disaster Initiated Review.” The review will ensure that evacuation routes are clear and emergency services are available. The units cannot restart until that review is conducted jointly by the NRC and FEMA. The NRC continues to monitor Hurricane Matthew, and will decide later today whether to continue to staff its incident response center in Atlanta. — Joey Ledford”
As for the original post there was this response to Stock’s inquiry-comment:
“Moderator October 6, 2016 at 4:37 pm
Only St. Lucie is shutting down unless something changes. Most plant procedures call for shutting down a certain number of hours prior to the onset of winds of a designated strength, although there is some variation in the exact specifications from site to site.
At St. Lucie, Unit 1 was already shut down for a refueling outage and Unit 2 began shutting down this morning and should be shut down by this evening.
Look in comment section: https://public-blog.nrc-gateway. gov/2016/10/06/hurricane-matthew-and-the-nrc/ (Link intentionally broken)
TC Palm dot com – part of USA Today – is the only news service which appears concerned with the matter of St. Lucie.
“St. Lucie Power Plant shut down because of Hurricane Matthew
Isadora Rangel , 7:17 p.m. EDT October 6, 2016
“FPL closed the Hutchinson Island plant at 11:15 a.m.”
Both reactors shown at 0% power output this morning: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/reactor-status/2016/20161007ps.html
Maximum winds at Vero Beach, to the north, reported as 74 mph by the National Hurricane Center this morning so St. Lucie appears to have gotten lucky.
Shutdown (power reduction) of Nuclear Power Stations takes time:
“Turkey Point procedures for timing of a plant shutdown in anticipation of a hurricane require that the plant be in at least Mode 4 (i.e., hot shutdown) 2 hours before the onset of hurricane-force winds at the site. Estimating 8 hours to complete an orderly shutdown, the licensee began a plant shutdown approximately 12 hours before the predicted landfall of the hurricane. As a result, both units were in Mode 4 when Hurricane Andrew struck. However, the licensee commitments in response to the station blackout rule only require the licensee to commence shutdown at least 2 hours before the onset of hurricane-force winds. Therefore, starting a plant shutdown strictly in accordance with the licensee commitments could have resulted in the plant being in the midst of a dual-unit shutdown when offsite power was lost. Additionally, at Turkey Point (and at other commercial reactors susceptible to hurricane damage), important equipment (e.g., auxiliary feedwater) is located outside and likely would not be accessible during a hurricane“.