Hurricane Florence has been blamed for about two dozen deaths and still-unassessed billions of dollars in property damage across North and South Carolina, but the aftermath of the weather disaster moved up a level when the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission declared an emergency at its Brunswick nuclear plant.
The government report explained there was an “unusual event due to site conditions prevent plant access.”
“A hazardous event has resulted in on site conditions sufficient to prohibit the plant staff from accessing the site via personal vehicles due to flooding of local roads by Tropical Storm Florence,” the government report over the weekend said.
There were no other immediate details, but the NRC said it notified a variety of other agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.
The report confirmed that an emergency was declared.
The Charlotte News Observer said Monday the flooding left the 1,200-acre complex with limited access.
That prompted the declaration, NRC officials said.
The twin-reactor nuclear plant is only about four miles from the Atlantic and remains stable.
But flooded roads stopped fresh crews from relieving the hundreds of workers on site.
Natural News said “the Brunswick power facilities can no longer be accessed by workers and technicians even as they are running a ‘hot shutdown’ which requires human oversight.”
Florence delivered a direct hit on the power plant, with unprecedented rain and flooding.
Those on-site were camping out.
“Natural News was one of the few media outlets in the world to point out the risk of nuclear emergencies before Hurricane Florence made landfall,” the report said.
It asked whether a Fukishima-like event could happen in North America.
“The answer is yes, it can,” the report said.