Energy firm Florida Power & Light (FPL) said has yesterday said it could shut its four nuclear reactors that are on the path of Hurricane Irma before Saturday if the storm stayed on its current path.
FPL Spokesman Peter Robbins said, “Based on the current track, we would expect severe weather in Florida starting Saturday, meaning we would potentially shut down before that point.” Robbins said the company is watching the weather and would adjust any plans as necessary.
According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, the trajectory of Irma, a Category 5 storm with winds of 185 miles per hour (295 km per hour), is uncertain. Irma, which it said was the strongest Atlantic storm on record, was expected scrape the Dominican Republic on Thursday.
FPL operate the St. Lucie nuclear power plant on Hutchinson Island, a barrier island on the Atlantic about 55 miles (88 km) north of West Palm Beach. Two reactors generate 2,000 megawatts of electricity, enough power to supply more than 1 million homes.
FPL also operates Turkey Point nuclear power station on Biscayne Bay, about 24 miles south of Miami. That has two reactors that generate about 1,600 megawatts of electricity, or enough for about 900,000 homes.
Robbins, while attempting to allay fears said the plants were designed to withstand extreme natural events including hurricanes and serious floods.