2 Florida Nuclear Plants Appear to be in Hurricane Irma's Crosshairs

Officials at Florida Power & Light’s two nuclear plants were finalizing staffing plans and cleaning up their grounds Wednesday, but no one at FPL had yet made the call on when to shut down as Hurricane Irma drew nearer.

Peter Robbins, spokesman for FPL, said shutting down a reactor is a gradual process, and the decision will be made “well in advance” of the Category 5 storm making landfall.

“If we anticipate there will be direct impacts on either facility, we’ll shut down the units,” Robbins told the Miami Herald.

"Based on the current track, we would expect severe weather in Florida starting Saturday, meaning we would potentially shut down before that point,” he told Reuters in an email.

The two plants -- Turkey Point and St. Lucie — are equally protected, Robbins said. FPL has long defended the safety of its nuclear plants, both of which sit along the Atlantic coast, where they are potentially exposed to the strongest winds and storm surge of hurricanes.

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