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More than two dozen nuclear facilities up and down the East Coast could be ravaged by a storm expected to be of epic proportions this week.
Arnie Gundersen, the chief engineer of energy consulting company Fairewinds Associates, warns in a recent podcast that even if engineers at plants from North Carolina to New England say their plants have been shut down and are safe from disaster, it may already be too late.
During a recording uploaded to the Fairewinds website on October 28, the nuclear expert explains that facilities that are shut-down in preparation of severe storms like Sandy could still contain dangerous radioactive materials in their cooling pools for as long as two days.
“The plant can withstand relatively high winds, but the transmission grid can’t — that’s all those transmission towers that are all over the states,” Gundersen says. “So what’s like to happen is that power lines will go down and the plant will suffer what will call loss of offsite power,” the same thing that happened at Fukushima, Japan.