Remember the flooding info and maps I’d posted a couple of days ago, noting that two nuclear plants in Nebraska were in the flood inundation area?

Low-level emergency declared at nuclear power plant

Well, Frieda Berryhill sent this photo of the flooding at the Ft. Calhoun nuclear plant:


Check the video, Omaha Public Power District – OPPD didn’t want the news crew filming the flooding!!!  And thankfully, they reported that point:

Flooding nuclear power station property

As if the flooding isn’t enough, they had an electrical fire, and shut down the spent fuel pond pumps to aid in fighting it.  There are many articles posted on this, all the IDENTICAL AP article, and not one mention of flooding:

Nuke plant stopped spent fuel pumps to fight fire

Here’s a local paper with some additional details:

Smoke causes scare at nuclear plant

Omaha Public Power District’s release on the flood:

OPPD Declares Notification of Unusual Event

June 6, 2011

As mentioned last week, the rising Missouri River waters have reached a level where OPPD is declaring a Notification of Unusual Event (NOUE) at its Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station. According to projections from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the river level at the plant site is expected to reach 1,004 feet above mean sea level later this week, and is expected to remain above that level for more than one month. OPPD notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and emergency management agencies in Nebraska and Iowa of the declaration.

A NOUE is the least-serious of four emergency classifications that are standard in the U.S. nuclear industry. Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station will not move out of this emergency classification until it is confident the water will remain below the 1,004-foot level.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission notes that a Notification of Unusual Event indicates events are in process or have occurred which indicate potential impacts to the plant. No release of radioactive material requiring offsite response or monitoring has occurred or is expected.

Fort Calhoun was in safe shutdown mode since early April for refueling the plant, and remains in that condition. In addition to the existing flood-protection at the plant, OPPD employees and contractors have built earth berms and sandbagged around the switchyards and additional buildings on site. They also are filling water-filled berms around the plant and other major buildings on site, have staged additional diesel fuel inside the Protected Area and are building additional overhead power lines to provide another option for power for the plant’s administration building, Training Center and one of its warehouses.

13 Responses to “Ft. Calhoun nuclear plant flood and fire”

  1. Spot Says:

    It’s a really good thing that the Mississippi never floods.

  2. Richard Bennett Says:

    Are there any threatened dams for flood control up river from Fort Calhoun?

  3. Richard Bennett Says:

    further to June 6/2011 post…An event ALERT posted re:Ft. Calhoun…

    A non-syntactical verbal analysis.

    The FAULT: system-wide, the most prevalent common design weakness – electricity fire – interruption of electricity to cooling – overheat fuel rods – meltdown – hydrogen gas release – temperature goes critical for hydrogen explosion.


    FLOOD FORECAST FOR Upper Mississippi River – duration – several months -dam/s and levees break – flood – fire – loss of coolant capacity – overheat fuel rods – meltdown – river remains in flood -radioactive water and radioactive debris escapes site returning to the river from flooded reactor and storage pool and exposed reactor vessel and basements.
    Reactors are invariably located adjacent large bodies of water.
    Strategically, a negotiation could be considered between ‘the authority’ and ‘the people’ that posits the likelihood of unimaginably social unrest provoked by the non-reversible, non-manageable effects of such widespread contamination.

    —–how does one prepare to be overwhelmed ?—rb

  4. Dead End for Nuclear Power? – EON Update 6-13-11 | Says:

    […] Ft. Calhoun nuclear plant flood and fire As if the flooding isn’t enough, they had an electrical fire, and shut down the spent fuel pond pumps to aid in fighting it. There are many articles posted on this, all the IDENTICAL AP article, and not one mention of flooding:… […]

  5. Richard Bennett Says:

    Let’s organize a poll thru the INTERNET to REPEAL the PRICE-ANDERSON Act that guarantees the fed’s to cover ALL LIABILITIES FROM THE USE OF NUCLEAR POWER.

  6. jim Says:

    better photo of Fort Calhoun flooding. from AP 06.14.2011

  7. JJ Says:

    Yes Richard, there are a couple dams upstream. You need to watch this.

  8. Richard Bennett Says:

    This years snow pack is 140% of average annual.

    This ‘natural’ prompt will be a ‘warming’ period that warms the entire region.

    A brief ‘warming’ will accelerate melting producing SURGES EXCEEDING levee design maximum underestimations.


  9. Mr. Missouri Says:

    The big problem is the spent rod pools. Open to the outside, flood waters in…. flood waters out… radiation contamination straight into the river.

  10. Bob42 Says:

    I am glad,we do not have nuclear power plants in Louisiana.

  11. Michael Says:

    Bob42 Says:
    June 19th, 2011 at 3:37 pm
    I am glad,we do not have nuclear power plants in Louisiana.

    Well…except these:

    River Bend 1 – 24 MI NNW of Baton Rouge; owned by Entergy Operations, Inc. *Waterford 3 – 20 MI W of New Orleans; owned by Entergy Operations, Inc.

  12. Paul Says:

    I do not understand why you are trying to scare people. If you would take the time and look a the flood information and watch the videos on the OPPD Web site (WWW.OPPD.COM), you could then speak intelligently about what is really going on. The plant is shut down, 26 feet of borated water is on top of the reactor core which is as safe as you can be, all safety systems are working properly, and even with water up against the building, there is little or no leakage into the basement. Any leakage that is occurring is easily being handled by simple sump pumps. The river level is being controlled expertly by the Corp of Engineers with the current given circumstances and unless the water rises another 8 feet – there is little probability of the plant being in danger. If the water rises another 8 feet, I believe that we will have bigger problems to worry about than a protected nuclear core with back up system.

  13. Carol A. Overland Says:

    @ Paul – you’ll note I DID link to OPPD so that people can check out OPPD’s position!
    1) The plant is shut down – yes, I reported that. Two of Fukushima’s reactors were shut down too.
    2) “being handled by simple sump pumps.” Pumps need electricity to run, and electricity was cut from the site, the diesel generators were flooded and the main electrical was then connected to a new line strung for interconnection. Earlier, July 6 or 7, there was an electrical failure and the spent fuel pumps were out. Point? Pumps need electricity to run, and pumps fail.
    3) One part of the dike around it failed last week.
    4) Flooding is expected to continue… and continue…
    Nothing inaccurate about what’s been posted. I live in a nuclear community, on the Mississippi, a river that floods, with a reactor that has been written up for diesel generator failures and problems in flood preparedness. Ignorance is not bliss. People need to be aware of conditions at nuclear plants to assess risks to themselves and their families. From the number of hits from “Fort Calhoun” searches, people want to know.

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