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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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  • by Pope (17780) on Friday June 24, 2011 @03:35PM (#36559926)
    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.
  • Re:just because (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mr Bubble (14652) on Friday June 24, 2011 @04:26PM (#36560570)

    The fact that the plant is shutdown is irrelevant. The real danger is the spent fool pools which require active cooling - which relies on the constant availability of electricity. The river is at 1007 feet above sea level - expected to rise another 5-7 feet this summer. The NRC approached the plant a year ago and told them their flood contingency measures were not up to snuff. They argued for quite awhile, but finally relented and installed some, IMHO, barely adequate measures that may or may not save the plant from disaster as the water is, literally, lapping at the door of the plant.

    How is this article FUD? Did you even read it? Nothing in the article is speculative or untrue. Please, get you head out of your ass.

  • Re:Yay! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr Bubble (14652) on Friday June 24, 2011 @04:30PM (#36560624)

    I would just like to point out that 7 feet of flooding is A LOT

    But that is the forecast - 5-7 feet rise this summer.

    Besides, TFA says that the original state of the plant was only good for 1008 above sea level - it is now at 1007 and rising - that is the thrust of the article. They were not prepared and may still not be.

  • Re:just because (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2011 @04:47PM (#36560906)

    The real danger is the spent fool pools which require active cooling - which relies on the constant availability of electricity.

    No no no.. FAIL!

    Spent fuel ponds only require that they have water in them. You can do that with a freaking dingy and a portable pump if you want to.

    The real danger is if you have a flash flood and the plant is running or has been recently running (eg. within a few days). So, what is the chance of a 1020ft. flash flood in the location when water levels are less than 1000ft.?? Exactly.

    The river is at 1007 feet above sea level - expected to rise another 5-7 feet this summer.

    So if it rises to 1020 level then what??

    This is FUD because it attempts to compare Fukushima and a 50 ft. tsunami vs. a flood that "expected to rise another 5-7 feet this summer".

    Seriously, you can build an earthen dike 100 ft. high in this time frame.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Friday June 24, 2011 @04:57PM (#36561050)

    No, actually they didn't ... Until the goverment started fining the ever living shit out of them about a year ago ... Had this happened last summer, the plants barriers would already be underwater and it's still rising.

    I'm not anti nuke, I'm pro actually, but had they not have been spanked hard over the last year, they'd be in trouble.

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone

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