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Why isn’t Progress Energy’s nuclear power plant in the Sunny Point’s “blast zone”?

Jim Brumm

the Progress Energy Brunswick Nuclear Plant in Southport. Staff Photo By Matt Born/Wilmington Star-News.

Q. Why isn’t Progress Energy’s nuclear power plant in the Sunny Point Military Ocean Terminal’s “blast zone” when property all the way across the river is? The Sunny Point “zone” seems to stop conveniently at the property line to the nuclear plant while areas further away are not.

A. The Brunswick Nuclear Plant is more than a mile away from Sunny Point Military Ocean Terminal’s buffer zone — one of a handful of terms used in official documents rather than “blast zone.”

The safety zone is centered on Sunny Point’s wharves, according to Don Parker, the terminal’s deputy commander. He explained that it delineates the explosive arc that could result from an accident while ammunition is being handled at the largest U.S. ammunition port.

The only place this zone is outside Sunny Point’s property is across the Cape Fear River in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. Along the western side of river, the zone ends before Sunny Point’s property line.

The license issued to the power plant by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission refers to exclusion boundaries that have been established by the U.S.  Army Corps of Engineers for the terminal, and states that the Brunswick Nuclear Plant is located at least an additional 5,300 feet — a mile plus 20 feet — from the edge of the exclusion boundary, Progress Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier.


What’s the deal with the blast zone at Sunny Point?

What happened to the two military cargo ships that were once docked on the Cape Fear River?

User-contributed question by:
Jim Crawford

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