Published on August 25, 2017
Hurricane Harvey’s forecast track targets a two reactor nuclear power station called the South Texas Project (STP). An internal US NRC memo leaked to the public (see below) classified it as being High on Dam Hazard Vulnerability due to the cooling pond, though they probably mean the Main Cooling Reservoir. There is-was a proposal for two more reactors at the site (STP 3 and 4). Information on the proposed reactors includes some relevant information on the site: “The STP 3 & 4 site is located 10.5 miles inland from Matagorda Bay and 16.9 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico. It is approximately 75 miles from the Continental Shelf. The shoreline of Matagorda Peninsula along the Gulf of Mexico changes constantly, retreating landward or advancing seaward as the result of a combination of hydrologic and meteorological processes, climatic factors as well as engineering activities…. The STP 3 & 4 site is located in Matagorda County, Texas near the west bank of the Colorado River, opposite river mile 14.6. It is approximately 12 miles south-southwest of Bay City, Texas, and 8 miles north-northwest of Matagorda, Texas (Figure 2.4S.1-1). The surface elevation of the site ranges from about El. 32 to 34 ft mean sea level (MSL), which is equivalent to National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD 29), at the north boundary to between El. 15 ft to 20 ft MSL at the south boundary… A major feature of the site is the Main Cooling Reservoir (MCR), which is formed by a 12.4-mile-long earthfill embankment constructed above the natural ground surface. The MCR has a surface area of 7000 acres with a normal maximum operating level of El. 49 ft MSL. The MCR is not a safety-related facility. Makeup water to the MCR is supplied from the Colorado River and pumped into the MCR intermittently throughout the year via the Reservoir Makeup Pumping Facility (RMPF). A smaller separate cooling pond, referred to as the Essential Cooling Pond (ECP), serves as the ultimate heat sink for STP 1 & 2. The surface area of the ECP is 46 acres. (Reference 2.4S.1-1)
Video courtesy of MrMBB333
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