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Nebraska Nuclear Plant Flood Defenses Tested 168

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-walls-make-bad-mutant-wildlife dept.
mdsolar tips an article at the NY Times which begins: "Pictures of the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant north of Omaha, Neb., show it encircled by the swollen waters of the Missouri River, which reached a height of nearly 1,007 feet above sea level at the plant yesterday. The plant's defenses include new steel gates and other hard barriers protecting an auxiliary building with vital reactor controls, and a water-filled berm 8 feet tall that encircles other parts of the plant. Both systems are designed to hold back floodwaters reaching 1,014 feet above sea level. Additional concrete barriers and permanent berms, more sandbags and another power line into the plant have been added. The plant was shut down in April for refueling and will remain so until the flood threat is passed. 'Today the plant is well positioned to ride out the current extreme Missouri River flooding while keeping the public safe,' Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Victor Dricks said on an agency blog this week. But a year ago, those new defenses were not in place, and the plant's hard barriers could have failed against a 1,010-foot flood, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission contends in a yearlong inspection and enforcement action against the plant's operator, the Omaha Public Power District."
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Nebraska Nuclear Plant Flood Defenses Tested

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  • just because (Score:2, Insightful)

    by publiclurker (952615) on Friday June 24, 2011 @04:32PM (#36559892)
    you don't want to hear the truth doesn't mean the rest of us want to make it easy for you to stick your head into the sand. We are still busy trying to clean up from the last few "perfectly safe" disasters
  • Re:Yay! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday June 24, 2011 @04:33PM (#36559896) Homepage

    Woot mdsolar is posting another article about nuclear power to spread more FUD!!!

    OK nutcase - go find an article that paints nuclear power in a warm, rose colored blush. That's what Firehose is for. Unfortunately, nuclear power is not getting very good press and for very good reasons. The engineering isn't all that it is cracked up to be and isn't at all what it needs to be. Even with the 'new' flood guidelines, the plant in TFA is only seven feet from breaching the walls. With a billion dollar plant hanging in the balance, I'd like just a bit more breathing room.

    Again, it's not the long term waste problem that's going to kill commercial nuclear power (although that is a big issue that we're not handling well). It's going to be bad engineering decisions pushed on staff because of economic considerations. Short term gain, long term pain.

  • Re:Yay! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smelch (1988698) on Friday June 24, 2011 @04:46PM (#36560062)
    I would just like to point out that 7 feet of flooding is A LOT as the water has more and more places to go horizontally before it has to go up. Not that that a big deal, just saying it's probably a lot more margin than it sounds like, though that still may not be enough.
  • by BradleyUffner (103496) on Friday June 24, 2011 @04:48PM (#36560090) Homepage

    That's a bit of a bizarre measurement for river waters, no? Makes it sound at first glance that it's under 1,007 feet of water.
    Why not the height above the normal crest? It would make it a bit easier to visualize that's for sure.

    Saying that the flood is at 1007ft of 1014ft capacity of the walls makes it sound a lot more scary that saying its at 7ft of the 14ft walls. It's nothing but anti-nuclear fud. The whole story is designed to make it hard to visualize to make it scarier.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2011 @04:52PM (#36560140)

    It sounds like everything worked as designed.
    A fire happened an automated fire suppression system put it out.

  • Re:Yay! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Friday June 24, 2011 @04:55PM (#36560174) Homepage Journal

    " The engineering isn't all that it is cracked up to be "
    what the hell do you base that on? Fukashima with stood 10 times bigger earthquakes, and tsunami, and the island dropping 1 meter.

    Again new designs of nuclear plants do not have a long term waste problem. Also, they can burn older waste we currently have.

    I don't even think you know how little nuclear waste we have, how it's stored, or even the classifications of nuclear waste and what they mean.

    You are an ignorant person whose ignorance spread FUD.

    ", the plant in TFA is only seven feet from breaching the walls."
    so? how much more VOLUME would they need to get that extra 7 feet? THAT"S the correct question. It could be 6 inches from the top, but id it would take 1000 trillion gallons to get there, it doesn't matter.

  • Re:Yay! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Friday June 24, 2011 @04:56PM (#36560194) Homepage Journal

    It's going to be bad engineering decisions pushed on staff because of economic considerations.

    Well, unfortunately all of the good engineering decisions, like shutting down plants before their designed lifetime suggests and replacing them with new ones, have been blocked by public hysteria along the lines of, "No new nuclear anything ever!!!!!"

    So, yeah, great thing that "wisdom of the masses."

  • Re:Yay! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mr Bubble (14652) on Friday June 24, 2011 @05:40PM (#36560792)

    what the hell do you base that on? Fukashima with stood 10 times bigger earthquakes, and tsunami, and the island dropping 1 meter.

    By "with stood", do you mean it is still visible? Because I don't think that having melt throughs at three reactors, loss of cooling of the spent fool ponds, and huge amounts of radiation leaking into the ocean due to leaks from the external water desperately being applied to be "with stood".

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