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St. Lucie Nuclear Plant in Direct Path of Hurricane Matthew; Plant Shut Because of Storm | 06 Oct 2016 | The Florida Power & Light Co. shut down its St. Lucie County Nuclear Power Plant in preparation for Hurricane Matthew…a company spokesman said. Federal rules require nuclear plants to be shut down at least one hour before hurricane winds hit the site, spokesman Peter Robbins said. FPL closed the Hutchinson Island plant at 11:15 a.m. and will reopen it after the category 4 storm is over. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission dispatched additional inspectors to the two nuclear plants as well as a North Carolina plant in preparation for Hurricane Matthew, and announced it would activate its regional incident response center in Atlanta, according to a news release.