News & Politics

Could Hurricane Irma Set Off a Nuclear Meltdown in Florida?

Four reactors are directly in the path of the category 5 storm.

Photo Credit: NOAA

Florida Power & Light may shut down four nuclear reactors that are in the projected path of Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm.

St. Lucie nuclear power plant on Hutchinson Island contains two reactors, as does Turkey Point on Biscayne Bay. The plants are about 55 miles north of West Palm Beach and 24 miles south of Miami, respectively.

"Based on the current track, we would expect severe weather in Florida starting Saturday, meaning we would potentially shut down before that point," FPL spokesman Peter Robbins told Reuters via email. Robbins added that the plants are designed to withstand both hurricanes and flooding.

Irma is the strongest Atlantic storm ever recorded, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Chris Sosa is a managing editor at AlterNet. His work also appears in Mic, Salon, Care2, Huffington Post and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisSosa.

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