I entered nebraska neuclear power plant crippled in google search and got page after page of reports of news black outs. Gee Our Govt. wonders why we dont trust them ? Lets see the best way in that to stay safe in the above situation to avoid last minute panic is to stay informed ! Who ordered the blackout ? Im betting on a executive order ! Freedom of the press my rear.
I known about this for two weeks, they had plenty of time to safe guard the plant better.
The water knocked out power for awhile, but they reset. Lights still on but water on the way.
The plant does store two states worth of spent fuel rods from way back, meaning a lot.
It's just the fact that the ACOE keeps releasing water from the dams. Don't want them to fail.
But they need to release it slower, but what this country needs is a Nationwide Aqua Duct System.
But the flood may get it anyway. It's a GE reactor in a 40 ft pit. That concerns me.
Any release would flow down the flood swollen river. contaminating huge amounts of farm land.
It would get in the water table, and would be quarantined for a long period of time.
We get some of our electricity from there and the lights are still working. Yep. Just checked. They work.
This has nothing to do with whether or not the reactor is online. Nukes are baseline plants and typically scram (i.e. shutdown) immediately whenever there is a hint of trouble. Residual heat from short-lived but intense fission products needs to be dissipated so coolant needs to continue to be circulated although the thermal power level of the reactor is comparatively low--this was the problem in the Japan reactors--there was no power for the pumps to operate. Although at a very low power level this residual heat is enough to melt the core in many cases if not dissipated. There are some reactor designs which can survive a loss of coolant accident but don't think this is one of them.
In the article the problem seems to be in the spent fuel pool which is onsite. This fuel pool has nothing to do with the reactor itself (other than storing the spent but radioactive fuel rods--fuel rods before they go in aren't very radioactive and can generally be handled readily and safely even without protective equipment) but might need cooling. Unfortunately, the "greens" being their typical counterproductive and hostile to the REAL environment types--due to selfishness and some warped sense of reality--(with a stroke of a pen by Jimmy Carter) wiped out reprocessing or any type of recycling spent fuel for glassification and safe storage. So, ALL spent fuel is typically stored on site at the reactors--in the equivalent of large swimming pools. This is the WORST possible plan for both the environment and possible terrorism; glassification and burial at Yucca Flats (where A-bombs were tested anyway--the spent fuel is turned into glass which can't possibly leech into ground water supplies) could coherently and safely deal with our nuclear waste disposal problem. But thanks to "buy me votes" BH and "NIMBY" Harry Reid we have the rods stored onsite and NOT safely in Nevada. If these aren't cooled there is the possibility of a uranium fire and potential breach of containment.
Don't know if that is a possibility here but in any case it is very unlikely.
It is a PWR designed by combustion engineering so not the same as the BWR's in Japan. Also it has been upgraded. It is a relatively small 500 MW plant.
I remember back in '94-95 the Mescalero Apaches and the Nuclear plant people were trying to get spent fuel rods buried on their reservation in New Mexico but it was defeated somehow, maybe by environmentalists.
I am probably to late to the thread to enlighten any of you with an irrational fear of nuclear power but seeing as how the plant is my next door neighbor, about 500 yards off the back of my property I will tell you what is true.
The plant has been offline since April for refueling. The only problem they have had related to flooding is a spent fuel coolant pump went offline for about 20 minutes. Takes several days for this to become a problem and even then it wouldn't be as the design of the plant is to flood with the Missouri river as the ultimate coolant solution. There are currently 9 fail safe systems in place and functioning before they get to the flood the plant plan.
The probable reason that Fort Calhoun gets so much attention is anyone coming on a plane from the north gets a great fly over view of the flooding.
There is another nuclear plant online down river called Coopers near Brownsville Nebraska and they are pretty much in the same situation as Fort Calhoun. If the river rises another foot they will shut it down.
Lastly this just reinforces my opinion that the media is as untrustworthy as the government.
No one does any fact checking, no one does any real journalism anymore, they just tell people what they want to push, or something that scares them with no sourcing.
Please correct me if I'm wrong here TXplt, but the storage pools simply hold containers of radioactive material - spent fuel rods being the biggie - that would overheat if left in the air. The water itself is not and cannot become radioactive, but should a drum somehow leak, radioactive materials might be mixed with the water. The water serves the purpose of absorbing excess heat and enabling it to be released to the environment, either in a water to water or water to air heat exchanger. If the pools flood, there will be no problem unless there somehow develops a strong enough current to damage the containers and expose their contents to be mixed with the floodwaters.
The liklihood of getting strong water currents in swimming pools that are underwater is something you can all figure out for yourselves. I don't see it happening. But to the general public, the water in the plant is considered to be radioactive and highly dangerous. Water, H2O, simply cannot be radioactive. It might have some radioactive materials dissolved in it, but the water itself does not have any atoms that are radioactive and its chemical makeup doesn't change simply because it absorbs heat from a radioactive source. Plant water is kept isolated to maintain an extraordinarily high level of purity, not because it's a danger to the environment.
As for the blackout - people panic at the mere thought of nuclear plant accidents, especially after TMI, Chernobyl, and the latest one in Japan. If there was a blackout, it was probably more along the lines of "get your facts straight, professional newspeople, before you cause a needless panic." In a situation where folks are worried already due to the massive floods, rumors, innuendos, lies, and half truths from the media would be the last thing they need.
So, blackout or a call for intelligent, professional conduct - you decide.
Teach I know you asked TX but I can answer, yes, ultimately if the pools flood as long as there is not container breach the Missouri river will cool them in indefinitely. That is Fort Calhouns final fall back plan. Flood it all to keep it cool.
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Thanks, TGF. I was pretty sure that was the case, but it's been a while since I did anything related to nukes. Last time was a summer touring various installations and learning about them about 30 years ago. Of course, there hasn't been a new one built since then, so basic design and operations aren't much different.
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