Officials preparing to SHUT DOWN the Cooper NUCLEAR POWER STATION after record rises in the Missouri River in Nebraska!


Nebraska’s lone nuclear plant was preparing to shut down Friday in the face of record rises in the Missouri River. Security shut down should occur if the river rises to 45.5 feet. This level was reached early Saturday.

Cooper Nuclear Station still operating but preparing for shutdown as Missouri River hits record levels
Cooper Nuclear Station still operating but preparing for shutdown as Missouri River hits record levels

Mark Becker, spokesman for the Nebraska Public Power District, previously explained that if the Missouri river rises to 45.5 feet this weekend, as projected by the NWS, the nuclear power plant, which accounts for 35 percent of NPPD’s power, will have to be shut down. The water surpassed that level early Saturday and reached an all-time record 45.64 inches.

Personnel with the Nebraska Public Power District have been sandbagging the levee that protects the nuclear plant to give it extra height. They were also sandbagging the doorways of the plant and preparing watertight drop-down doors.

Becker said the facility sits 13 feet above natural grade and the nuclear reactor sits an additional 14 feet higher than that.

A levee on the opposite side of the Missouri River also sits lower than the one protecting the facility, so Becker is confident the plant’s reactor will not be damaged by floodwaters and the facility may not take on much if any water.

Becker said he doesn’t anticipate there will be any damage to the nuclear components of the facility if it does shut down. There is “concern” for the nuclear plant but it “is perfectly safe.”

We don’t expect any safety issues but we do expect they will get flooding around them and if it gets too far they will shut it down. If it closes down, there will also not be an “issue with power supply because they can get power from other sources within the grid.

It is something we’re really watching closely. Nuclear power plants are extremely conservative in their emergency plan. They will go to a new level of status way before they need to be. The Cooper Nuclear is absolutely not having any issues that create a safety issue for anyone.

Thursday morning, the hydroelectric plant at the Spencer Dam on the Niobrara River was lost when the dam broke and a large ice floe jammed a hole in the building.

Flooding this year is higher than occurred in the historic, summer-long flood of 2011. During that 2011 flood, Cooper was able to continue functioning.

Severe flooding in Nebraska is threatening to swamp the Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville. The reactor last faced a similar threat from the rising Missouri River during the summer of 2011.

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