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Exeleon Says Braidwood Nuclear Plant Wasn't In Danger From Nearby Tornado

(CBS) -- One of Monday night's tornadoes narrowly missed Exelon Nuclear's Braidwood plant, but the utility insists no one was endangered.

Exelon Nuclear spokesperson Krista Lopykinski says the storm came close enough to the reactor buildings to overturn a shipping container in Braidwood's parking lot. Winds measured at 130 miles an hour downed high-tension wires just outside and several outbuildings lost power. But she said that the Braidwood plant itself did not lose power, have to power down or implement any back-up systems, although she said its staff was prepared to do so.


Lopykinski said the plant's five-foot-thick, reinforced concrete construction is built to withstand winds of at least 300 miles an hour. In addition, she said, there are multiple layers of "back-up" power and control systems, including four locomotive-sized diesel power generators, but said Braidwood continued to generate electricity at full capacity throughout the storm and has done so ever since.

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