US nuclear watchdog keeping eye on South Texas plant

Power plant units will be built.
The South Texas Project Electric Generating Station is one of the newest and largest nuclear power facilities in the nation. STP's two units produce 2,700 megawatts of carbon-free electricity - providing clean energy to two million Texas homes.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is keeping an eye on Hurricane Harvey and its effect on the South Texas Project nuclear power plant in Bay City, Texas.

The US regulatory body was in close communication with officials from the STP Nuclear Operating Co. prior to the storm making landfall Friday night.

The NRC dispatched two additional staff from Arlington, Texas, to the site to relieve the two resident inspectors who were sent home to ensure the safety of their families.

A statement from the government body said: “The two NRC responders have remained onsite all weekend, along with about 175 plant workers, and are monitoring the licensee’s response to the challenging weather conditions in the area.

“They can also provide technical assistance if needed. Both #reactors have been operating at full power, and all of their safety systems are available to support a safe plant shut down if conditions warrant.

“Like all of the nuclear power plants licensed to operate in the United States, they have robust concrete containment structures which have been built to withstand major hurricanes, tornadoes and torrential rain.

“Harvey is expected to produce additional rain accumulations of 15 to 25 inches over the middle and upper Texas coast through Thursday.

“Current weather projections for Harvey do not pose a threat to the #Waterford nuclear power plant in New Orleans and the #RiverBend nuclear plant near Baton Rouge, but the NRC is monitoring for any changes to those projections.

“The agency is closely monitoring the path of the storm and its Region IV office in Arlington, Texas, is prepared to activate its Incident Response Center if and when conditions warrant.”