Nebraska power plant surrounded by flood waters

Iowa is certainly not the only state in the Midwest affected by flooding. Reuters reports that Nebraskans faced a scare when the Fort Calhoun nuclear power station became surrounded by water due to Missouri River flooding. Fortunately, the plant remains unharmed, and there’s no expectation that the flood will breach the barriers surrounding the facility:

The rising river “has certainly affected the site, but the plant itself, the actual reactor is still dry,” said Scott Burnell, Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman.

The 478-megawatt plant north of Omaha shut April 9 to refuel, and has remained shut because of the flooding, said Omaha Public Power District spokesman Jeff Hanson.

“When the river reaches 1,004 feet above mean sea level, we shut down,” said Hanson. “We don’t have any idea when we’ll be able to start again.”

The plant is partially protected by an AquaDam, which is a large tube filled with water that encircles the facility:

The Fort Calhoun station is owned and operated by the Omaha Public Power District and supplies power to Nebraska’s largest city. Contractors at the plant have completed construction of an earthen berm around the plant’s switch yard and are protecting the plant and other facilities with large temporary structures filled with water.

According to the NRC’s Burnell, the added flood barriers will protect the plant even if the river rises beyond where it is currently projected to go. Within that flood barrier, the plant has taken steps to provide additional protection for emergency diesel generators, Burnell said.

2 thoughts on “Nebraska power plant surrounded by flood waters

  1. Never would of thought something similar to Japan’s current nuclear energy situation would happen in the US and of all places Nebraska. Just kind of proves how we need to start relying on solar power, solar farms, wind farms and other renewable source for our energy needs.

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