Sunday, August 28, 2011

Update on the Hurricane

This is a photo of flooding in Brattleboro, a town close to where Vermont Yankee is located. I
found the photo on Twitter. It was posted by @RandyGllenhaal on twitpic.

I have that picture up because I wanted to start the post with something dramatic. After all, I am competing with all the other hurricane coverage, and it's an uphill slog because I blog about Vermont Yankee. I blog about Vermont Yankee, and Vermont Yankee is fine. The plant is at 100% power and there is no flooding at the site. No news news. Or maybe, good news is no news?


I talked about floods above. I guess I better say something about winds, too.

There's a great Irene-tracker map at the New York Times. As I write this, tropical storm Irene is in Connecticut. (Irene has been downgraded from hurricane to tropical storm.) Here's a screen shot of the New York Times wind speed predictor for Irene, from the website above.

At 11 a.m. this morning, the wind speed was 63 mph. By the time this hurricane grinds through Massachusetts and gets to Vermont, the wind speed will be below 50 mph. Heck, we've had thunderstorms that were worse. The plant can take hurricane-force winds, above 200 mph. This tropical storm won't even be a test.

I don't mean to dismiss the problems Irene has caused. Hurricane Irene has been a serious storm, especially further south. Even in Vermont, there is considerable flooding and many people have lost power. Some more pix of Brattleboro here. Southern part of the state and some northern areas have been hard hit in terms of flooding. There's going to be a lot of damage. Some roads are impassable. Still, Vermont Yankee is fine, running along at full power. It's not Key Largo around here.

I started this post with a photo I found on a tweet, so I will end with a quote from another tweet. To me, this quote says everything about our nuclear plants, and how well they are handling this storm.

No one ever gets credit when contingency planning works.
@krmaher RT by @arclight


Anonymous said...

What grade of hurricane and what river level does VT Yankee have contingencies for?

Meredith Angwin said...

The plant should answer this, I am not the authority. The river level is "500 year flood" and winds are over 250 mph. That is what I heard. As I said, I am not the authority. The wind limit is about tornadoes, hurricanes never get that high a wind.

Meredith Angwin said...

"Sustained winds" are down to 50 mph, according to this report.