Power outages beginning for some in southwest Florida

Hurricane Irma has cut off power to 2 million people in Florida with repairs likely to take weeks

The company plans to position crews ahead of time in 22 sites around the area that are expected to be hit the hardest to speed up the restoration process.

"If the wind is exceeding 35 miles per hour, they can't fly", Gould said. Florida Crystals, about 75 miles northwest of Miami, manufactures sugar, which can be combustible under the right conditions.

The post attributed the news to local Fox affiliate WSVN Channel 7 and says that as the massive storm makes it way closer to Florida, customers won't have power. At Fukushima in Japan, an quake and tsunami disrupted power supplies and caused the fuel in some units to meltdown.

"We've set up more than 20 staging sites across the state".

Before Fukushima, U.S. nuclear reactors focused on other perils, such as securing radioactive materials. "Now, owners must stage sufficient equipment resources and associated staff to cope with challenges to all on-site reactors and spent fuel pools". Peter Robbins, a spokesman for FPL, explained that shutting down a plant's reactor must be done gradually.

USA nuclear operators have taken steps to improve preparations for disasters since Fukushima.

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Orlando Utility Commission (OUC) officials said if Irma stays on its current path, 80 percent of customers will be without power for seven to 10 days.

While there are no large chemical plants in Palm Beach County, Delray Beach Fire Rescue said the department always prepares for the worst.

"We have a significant influx, virtually a small army, coming in of lineman and tree and vegetation crews that are coming to support us", Gould said. During Hurricane Andrew, access roads to the plant were blocked by debris, so that skeleton crew was crucial. "Certainly in Florida there are going to be a lot of impact", Guikema said. "The center (of the storm) is getting better organized and will intensify as it approaches Florida".

Turkey Point, located just south of Miami in Homestead, survived a direct hit from Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Lochbaum said the NRC and the industry could do more to reduce vulnerability to flooding. An NRC study blamed degraded and missing flood seals that were not discovered during checks after Fukushima. Duke Energy serves 1.8 million customers in Florida. Lower temperatures reduce the amount of power needed for cooling, making the plant safer and less likely to spin out of control in an emergency.

Irma is expected to disrupt much of Florida's power supply. FPL is one of four large publicly traded utilities in Florida. "I expect that, with Irma, there is a high probability that the electricity transmission system will be damaged, which is why it's prudent to shut the plants down in advance of the high winds", Peterson wrote. Now if we have any damage to a plant it's prioritized.

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