Floodwaters Breach Nebraska Nuke Berm

Water hits transformers, triggering shutdown of electricity
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2011 1:20 AM CDT
Floodwaters Breach Nebraska Nuke Berm
A figure of a worker, part of the Monument to Labor statue, juts out of the rising waters of the Missouri River in Omaha yesterday.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

(Newser) – Floodwaters have poured over a berm surrounding a Nebraska nuclear power plant, forcing a shutdown of electricity used to control cooling systems. Emergency generators were used until an off-site power supply could be connected to the Fort Calhoun plant, and officials say there has been no danger to the public, reports ABC News. Federal authorities, including the head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, are on the scene. The berm was considered an "additional layer of protection" at the plant, and a work crew will attempt to patch it, said a spokesman for the Omaha Public Power District.

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The plant, near Brownville, has been closed for refueling since April, and the operation won't be restarted until the floodwaters recede, according to AP. Nebraska's other nuclear power plant, some 75 miles south of Omaha, was threatened by flooding earlier this month and will be shut down if floodwaters exceed a specific level. Federal officials are continuing to monitor the situation. The Fort Calhoun berm breach was the latest trouble in flooding of the Missouri River that has inundated some 4,500 homes. It could be up to six weeks before the river falls back to its pre-flood stage. (Read more Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant stories.)

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