Regulators: Brunswick Nuclear reactors shut down, safe

September 17, 2018
Duke Energy's Brunswick Nuclear Plant is located near Southport.

The Brunswick Nuclear Plant near Southport remains shut down and difficult to reach but poses no threat, spokespeople for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Duke Energy said Monday.

“Both units are in a safe and stable condition,” NRC spokesman Joey Ledford said.

The reactors were taken offline last Thursday ahead of Hurricane Florence’s landfall. The facility is 4 miles inland and was in the hurricane’s path. It weathered the storm without damage to safety equipment, Ledford said.

“The problem was site access,” he said.

This weekend, the plant issued a notice of “unusual event” because of “site conditions sufficient to prohibit the plant staff from accessing the site via personal vehicles.”

Ledford said plant workers have since been able to get provisions in via a single route. But plant requirements say there should be two useable routes. Without that, by definition, it’s an unusual event, he said, and that’s the lowest level of emergency classification.

NRC inspectors are on site, along with members of Duke’s plant team. The reactors are ready to return to service when prudent, Ledford said.

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