SRS largely undamaged by Tropical Storm Michael

October 12, 2018

The Savannah River Site escaped Tropical Storm Michael relatively unscathed Thursday.

At the site, some power loss was reported, as were downed trees, according to a U.S. Department of Energy spokesperson.

“Minimal damage” to “some” administrative buildings was recorded, as well, the spokesperson continued, but there were “no impacts” to any of the operating or nuclear facilities.

The “core” of Michael was predicted to traverse SRS between 5 and 9 a.m. Thursday, according to Savannah River National Laboratory predictions made about 13 hours beforehand.

The site was closed to non-essential personnel from 8 p.m. Wednesday until 8 p.m. Thursday. Increasingly bad weather was to blame, according to an email blast sent out by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, the SRS management and operations contractor.

That announcement came Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday afternoon, the DOE spokesperson said “normal operations” will resume as previously planned.

SRS has weathered two major storms in the past two months now: Florence and Michael, though Florence’s actual impacts on the Aiken County area can be debated.

On Wednesday, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster – during a media briefing at the Aiken County Emergency Operations Center – said the two hurricanes would prove largely different.

In the lead up to severe weather, emergency plans and protocols are put in place at SRS.

“The Department of Energy takes a very measured approach when it comes to the safety of the public, our workers and the environment,” the spokesperson said ahead of Florence.

Nuclear facilities like the ones at SRS are designed and built to withstand serious weather, flooding and hurricanes included.

Update hourly