The new forecast track of Neoguri is shown above as well as the location of two nuclear power plants.
The forecast track has moved south, and is now in a very good (and here good means bad) position to strike the Sendai nuclear power plant very directly. Keep in mind that this forecast may change.
On Tuesday mid day UTC the storm will likely be in the later phases of a turn to the right, aiming roughly at the Sendai plant. At this point maximum wind speed near the center of the storm will likely be about 90 mph, which puts the storm in the middle of the Category One range. That evening, possibly near midnight, the center of the typhoon should be coming ashore. During this time the storm will weaken.
The exact track matters a lot. It is quit possible that the right front quadrant, near the eye, will come ashore very near the plant, which would mean a very severe storm tide. But, the strength of the storm will be attenuated so perhaps the storm tide will be reduced.
Even though the storm now seems to be more or less aiming at a shut-down nuclear power plant, I’m thinking this will all result in little more than a very wet nuclear power plant. If the storm was stronger I’d be more worried about the effects of storm surge. I think Japan will have other problems caused by this storm to worry about.
Yes and no. The question really has to be understood to refer to a “meaningful” hit, one that matters to the plant.
In the end, though, I do think that nuclear power plants are generally well built and secured and I’m sure a big storm won’t bother them too much. But, even if shut down, as they are, cooling of fuel is still required and a major storm could do the kind of damage that interferes with that. So we’ll see. The chances, though, of a nuclear disaster related to this particular storm are minimal. The storm itself is the problem.
There is some great coverage on the storm here: