Floridians have plenty to worry about as Hurricane Irma approaches the state. Florida Power and Light claims their two nuclear plants, both located on Florida’s Atlantic coast, are not among them.
In a press conference, a spokesperson for the utility said the Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear plants are “among the strongest in America,” if not “the world.”
The press conference was broadcast on Facebook Live.
The utility did, however, announce intentions to shut down both plants and maintain skeleton crews at the plants called “Storm Riders.” Timing would rely on the path and development of the storm, which is still uncertain.
They claim to have “learned” from Japan’s 2011 Fukushima disaster, which saw three nuclear cores melt down and release nuclear material after an earthquake disabled cooling and power supply at a nuclear plant. Both plants, FPL said, had “significant” redundancies to prevent such a disaster.
Turkey Point endured Hurricane Andrew and released no radiation, but took $90 million in damage; the plant is just 20 feet above sea level. St. Lucie survived hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, according to the Miami Herald.
Both plants have endured hurricanes before and are mere miles from major population centers.