Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Anybody Worried About This yet?

Flooded Nebraska Nuke Plant

I am an avid news consumer. Every day I am in my office I have the news on, and at work I listen to news radio most of the day.
Not a single word about a disaster that could be happening in slow motion right now.

Not one, but TWO nuclear power plants in Nebraska are in big trouble. This first report is from "The Business Insider":

"A fire in Nebraska's Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant briefly knocked out the cooling process for spent nuclear fuel rods, ProPublica reports.
The fire occurred on June 7th, and knocked out cooling for approximately 90 minutes. After 88 hours, the cooling pool would boil dry and highly radioactive materials would be exposed.
On June 6th, the Federal Administration Aviation (FAA) issued a directive banning aircraft from entering the airspace within a two-mile radius of the plant.
"No pilots may operate an aircraft in the areas covered by this NOTAM," referring to the "notice to airmen," effective immediately.
Since last week, the plant has been under a "notification of unusual event" classification, becausing of the rising Missouri River."
"Asked about the FAA flight ban, Hanson it was due to high power lines and "security reasons that we can't reveal." He said the flight ban remains in effect."

So the Ft. Calhoun plant suffered a fire that disabled the cooling system on June 6th, and is now flooded with water from the Missouri river.
Worse yet, heavy snows in the Rocky Mountains are melting and the flooding is expected to increase. The Cooper Nuclear Station down river may be at risk also:

"The Cooper Plant is in service and operating at or near 100% capacity. It has not shut down due to the rising flood waters. Cooper is a Boiling Water Reactor, manufactured by General Electric (BWR-4) with a Mark I Containment System. Sound familiar? Think "Fukushima". An earlier "Unusual Event" was reported by the Cooper Plant: "....inability to meet sludge pond discharge permit due to river levels." (NRC # 49941 09 June 2011 ) In the description, the operator states: "uncontrolled discharge ... "low volume' wastewater."

OpEd News reports:

"Ft. Calhoun: (NRC # 46965 16 June 2011) "Additional Penetration Identified For Mitigation During Walkdown" The Event Text states: ""Operations identified a potential flooding issue in the Intake Structure 1007 ft. 6 in. level. The area of concern is a hole in the floor at the 1007 ft. 6 in. level where the relief valve from FP-1A discharge pipe goes through the raw pump bay and discharges into the intake cell. There is one penetration of concern. Flooding through this penetration could have impacted the ability of the station's Raw Water (RW) pumps to perform their design accident mitigation functions."
"Should any of the upstream Dams fail (there are a total of 15) there would likely be a catastrophic wall of water rushing all the way to the Mississippi River. Unlikely? Yes. Impossible? Think "Fukushima". As one commentator recently said: "Breaching the spent fuel ponds would make Fukushima look like an X-Ray. The Army Corps of Engineers has been releasing water from the Gavins Point Dam (first Dam upstream from Ft. Calhoun) at 150,000 cubic feet per second and they have said this will likely be increased."

Is it about time for us to just install hundreds of millions of Solar Panels yet?
Quit mining Uranium and tearing mountains down for coal?
Nukes are clearly not safe.
For those who are interested, here's today's radiation readings c/o the Fukashima Nuclear plant in Japan:

Nuclear power: "Too cheap to meter"...


B said...

The first plant was offline before the floods so we should be OK. Nebraska is my home state and I have a friend in Omaha. I've been offline blogging so I have not heard about the second plant. Unless they totally lied like they did at Fukoshima!

Incidentally I used to fish at Gavins Point Damn. We also would head up there to visit the strip joints. ;-)

FYI I totally agree with you on solar power!

Dojo Rat said...

More about the strip-joints please...

BP said...

Wait! I thought I was the only Nebraskan reading Dojo Rat. Anyway, I live in Tokyo and heard nothing about this until last week, when my ryukyu kobudo teacher sent me some links. Fukushima worried (worries) me over here, but Ft. Calhoun is near my hometown, and the other plant is damn near the branch of the used bookstore I used to co-own.

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