Nuclear, O&M

Flood protection plans changed at Neb. nuclear power plant

Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska

A change in the operating license of the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska ensures that the plant can shut down quickly in case of flooding.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license change reflects an issue identified before the Missouri River flooded the plant in April 2011, according to the Associated Press. Plant owner Omaha Public Power District must now shut down the plant when the river rises to 1,004 feet above sea level, the same level as the main power plant buildings. The previous flood plan did not require shut down until water reached 1,009 feet above sea level, the article said.  During the 2011 flood, waters reached 1,006 feet above sea level, but thanks to a series of barriers and pumps, the plant stayed dry inside.

The article said that OPPD has plans in place to protect Fort Calhoun in a flood at least up to 1,014 feet above sea level.

The plant remained shut down due to needed repairs, a small electrical fire and other structural and safety concerns. The NRC approved it to restart in December 2013.

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