Despite the forces of nature and in spite of the opportunistic efforts of professional opponents, a large nuclear power station located in the middle of Hurricane Harvey's devastation continues to steadily produce 100% of its rated power output.
Antinuclear campaigners like Beyond Nuclear, Sustainable Energy & Economic Development coalition (SEED), and the South Texas Association for Responsible Energy have attempted to stoke fear and devalue nuclear energy by claiming that the South Texas Project (STP), a 2700 MW nuclear station in Matagorda County, Texas, should shutdown as a "prudent" decision.
The 250 people who make up the storm crew at STP deserve credit for their efforts to keep power flowing reliably, providing a vital tool that alleviates or prevents human harm. Buddy Eller, an STP spokesman, described the pride with which those skilled workers are performing the actions needed to continue delivering their valuable product. He also provided some insights about the preparatory work that enabled success and about the resilient nature of the plant's basic design and continuous maintenance program.
STP, like all other nuclear plants and virtually all other facilities in our energy supply system, has an emergency plan that includes actions to take when storms approach. It includes keeping a close watch on the weather, carefully inspecting the site to ensure that all equipment is as secure and protected as possible, checking fuel levels for emergency generators, and ensuring that a staffing plan is in place to cover all of the required tasks without external assistance for as long as necessary.