Nebraska Nuclear Plant: Containment Building Flooded To Cool Fuel Rods

Ft. Calhoun Flood Defenses (WOWT, June 14, 2011):

The Ft. Calhoun Nuclear Facility is an island right now but it is one that authorities say is going to stay dry. They say they have a number of redundant features to protect the facility from flood waters that include the aqua dam, earthen berms and sandbags.

From the air the nuclear plant looks like it is about to be swallowed up by the Missouri River but on the ground you can see that man is controlling nature, or at least keeping her in check.

Jeff Hanson says, “We’re protected far above where this is projected to go.”

It helps that the facility was built to withstand a 500-year flood event and Hanson says there are feet of protection between the Missouri and the important structures on site.

That was before the aqua dams were put in place. Hanson says the plant has plans and procedures in place and practice flood defense. The aqua dams add another layer of protection from flooding.

Jeff Hanson says, “Protecting the vital assets we have sandbagged and placed earthen berms around the substations which guarantees the power can get into the plant to keep the plant powered.”

The facility was taken offline to refuel earlier this year so the containment building has been flooded by OPPD in order to cool the fuel rods.

Hanson adds they have a number of backup systems in place to continue to pump clean water through the spent fuel pool and into the reactor containment building so he says there is nothing to fear.

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