Brunswick Nuclear Power Generating Station

Brunswick Nuclear Power


The power plant also branded Brunswick County is located in North Carolina. It covers a total of one thousand two hundred acres. Its location is adjacent to Southport town around wetlands and woodlands. It came to operation in 1975 having twin General Electric boiling water reactors being cooled by the water from cape fear river and the effluents directed into the Atlantic Ocean (Williams, Varnam & Morgan, 2015).

Environmental Impacts

The ecological impacts of such companies are determined primarily by waste flowing watercourses, the plant cooling system, exposure of the plant employees to radiation and the plant’s expenditures (Vaillancourt et al., 2014). The United States nuclear regulatory commission describes two emergency development sectors adjacent to the nuclear power stations of which one explains a trail contact pathway region having a radius of around ten miles. That concentrates with the exposure to, airborne radioactive contamination and the inhalation. The second concerns with the ingestion pathway of around fifty miles which primarily focuses on the food intake and the ingestion of liquids contaminated by radioactivity (Williams, Varnam & Morgan, 2015).

Regarding the environmental implications to the ecosystem can be of a significant concern considering the effluents from the company itself during and while in operation. If not managed properly, the plant can release its radioactive materials to the environment which in turn contributes to the global warming in particular. Brunswick releases their spent fuel and other effluents to the Atlantic Ocean which directly affects the aquatic life. Fish and crustaceans are always being removed from the cooling waters each day because of water being drawn from the Cape Fear river.

The plant’s ability to discharge their wastes from the ocean and draws water from the river is also another major concern as it poses a risk of contaminating water that is needed by the plants around since its location adjacently to wetlands and woodlands (Williams, Varnam & Morgan, 2015). The facility has an approximately ten acres’ piece of land used as a landfill for both office and factory other wastes which has a capacity of air pollution to those living close to the plant.

The wetlands and the woodland around consisting of the pine forest surrounding the company has a threat of drying up. Nuclear power plants withdraw liters of water from the rivers so as to meet their closed cycle cooling processes. In this case, the water left cannot meet those plants water needs. To that effect, some plants could dry up leading to dry land cover unnecessary for agricultural use because of minimal rainfall in turn.

Improvements to Environmental Impacts

The company should ensure that the location, designing, construction and the capacity of cooling water intake structures reflects the best technologies to that are necessary and available to reduce the environmental pollution (Vaillancourt et al., 2014).  The sewage wastes and cleaning solvents from the facilities which consist of cleaning phosphate solutions should be treated as sanitary wastes first before being discharged into the ocean to minimize pollution of the freshwater used for consumption and the aquatic habitat.

Incineration of waste products should also become the company’s priority as a means of disposing of their office wastes and other company wastes instead of a landfill. They can apply the on-site incineration of waste products as regulated by environmental protection agency (ERA) regarding any gaseous effluents generated by such facilities (Vaillancourt et al., 2014).

When disposing, and treating the radioactive materials, the factory should build better gas storage facilities to allow the short half-life radioactive gasses to decay while letting a minimal quantity of long half-life radionuclides to the atmosphere. Additionally, they should ensure that their air ejectors are in operation and well serviced to avoid the various sources of routine radioactive gaseous emissions to the air.

The Social And Economic Issues Involved

Most of the social problems that could surround the company was dealt with earlier when the nuclear regulatory authority certified that the surrounding population as by 2010 was close to the controlling requirements. By that year, the human population occupying the ten miles of Brunswick was over thirty-six thousand which was an increase of over hundred percent in over ten years. Meanwhile, the population occupying the fifty-mile radius was also above four hundred thousand, an increase of thirty-nine percent from 2000 (Williams, Varnam & Morgan, 2015). Consequently, that growing population is of a primary concern by the regulatory body as they foresee a clash of interest between the company and the human population regarding the settlement and agricultural land for cultivation.

Another social issue being raised by the people of Northern Carolina is that the factory location near to the mouth of Cape Fear river and that it is only fifteen miles away from major metropolitan areas of Wilmington in North Carolina raises a question about the safety of fresh water availability in those towns. There was also an issue raised by the locals regarding the threat alert by the plant officials about the possible explosion due to the damaged electrical panel early this year 2016 (Patrick, 2016).  Such exposures of radioactive materials to the atmosphere could have caused significant health concerns to the population around the facility including workers.

Other social issues included the changed, social consensus of the communities around, cultural impacts, and the employment levels of the locals. Regarding the economic issues, the plant cost of operation, capital costs are quite expensive to the extent that, all those costs will translate to the consumers general paying of electricity costs and purchasing the cooking gas used as fuel in various homes. That is, the user must dig dip into their pockets so as to afford the electricity and cooking gas.


The provisions of inducements for the long-term, high- capital funds in relaxed markets driven by short-term value designates the presence of a challenge to the uncertainty of an expanded and reliable electricity supply schemes by the Brunswick nuclear power company (Williams, Varnam & Morgan, 2015).


Patrick, H. (2016). Retrieved 2 July 2016, from http://ELECTRICAL DAMAGE SETS OFF ALERT AT BRUNSWICK NUCLEAR PLANT

Williams, S., Varnam, J., & Morgan, D. (2015, May). Brunswick Nuclear Plant IGSCC Mitigation Strategy and Monitoring. In CORROSION 2015. NACE International.

Vaillancourt, K., Alcocer, Y., Bahn, O., Fertel, C., Frenette, E., Garbouj, H., … & Neji, Y. (2014). A Canadian 2050 energy outlook: Analysis with the multi-regional model TIMES-Canada. Applied Energy132, 56-65.

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