The specter of Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the Carolinas, forcing a pre-emptory rush on plywood, sand bags and gas stations.
Life and limb are foremost, but another grave worry is the power grid. The driving rain, fierce winds or, worse, tornados spawned when the storm makes landfall will likely cause serious damage to poles, lines and substations, if not the power plants themselves.
And beyond the coal, gas-fired and renewable sources about to be hit are the nuclear power stations which cause another level of worry to utilities, customers and response crews.
The Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia and western Tennessee are home to almost 20 reactors, according to map on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission website. Virginia also has nuclear power reactors within its boundaries and within the general path of Florence.
Duke Energy, Dominion Energy and others are preparing for the storm as it roars toward landfall. An NRC spokesman told Reuters that reactors will be shut down at the endangered plants prior to the Florence’s impact.