Rising Missouri River Almost Shuts Down Nuclear Plant

River came within 18 inches of forcing the shutdown
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 20, 2011 12:37 PM CDT
The Cooper Nuclear Power Station is seen near Brownville, Neb., Sunday, June, 19, 2011.   (Dave Weaver)
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(Newser) – The Missouri River rose to within 18 inches of forcing the shutdown of a nuclear power plant in southeast Nebraska but stopped and ebbed slightly, a plant spokesman said today. The river has to hit 902 feet above sea level at Brownville before officials will shut down the Cooper Nuclear Plant, which sits at 903 feet. It rose to 900.56 feet yesterday, then dropped to 900.4 feet later in the day and remained at that level this morning.

The plant has been preparing for the flooding since May 30. More than 5,000 tons of sand has been brought in to construct barricades around it and access roads. The Army Corps of Engineers said the river level at Brownville had surged about 2 feet from Saturday morning to yesterday morning and that it continued to rise because of heavy rain on the Nishnabotna River, which flows into the Missouri River from Iowa, and due to some erosion along a levee upstream at Hamburg, Iowa.

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