Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Project Flood: Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant under serious flood threat

Deborah Dupre

This picture indicates Fort Calhoun Nuclear power
plant cask building partially underwater
After the Army released near record water from six major reservoirs, levees have failed to hold the Missouri River so flooding now poses a "serious threat" to Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant according to today's International Business Times article.

IBTimes Staff Reporter reported at 4:17 AM EDT that "Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant was reportedly very close to getting engulfed by the floodwaters, raising fears of a crisis similar to Japan’s Fukushima disaster."

The nuclear plant declared the event as “unusual.”

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has maintained that there was no risk of disaster. MIT graduate software engineer expert and nuclear researcher Arthur Hu has noted, however, that Fort Calhoun nuclear plant's "dry-storage bunker is half-submerged outside the condom," writes seasoned nuclear researcher/journalist Tom Burnett. (Listen to Burnett on http://rense.gsradio.net:8080/rense/special/rense_Burnett_061311.mp3 that also highlights nuclear industry veteran of over 30 years, Arnie Gundersen speaking about hot particles.)

IBTimes refers today to the Reuters report that federal officials widened flood gates last week to allow record, or near-record water releases to ease pressure on six major reservoirs swollen by heavy rains and melting snow.

"But later in the week, Missouri River floodwaters reached a levee built up to protect Hamburg, Iowa, after the main protection along the river failed, a county emergency official said."

Despite lowering nuclear power plant regulations and dismissing some safety threats, "industry and government officials defend their actions, and insist that no chances are being taken," reported Daily Mail at MailOnline today, referring to the extensive Associated Press nuclear industry investigation report recently released.

Negligence was the bottom line of the AP report. "Examples abound," Daily Mail says.

"[N]egligence is destined to to bring the plants closer to a catastrophic accident that could harm millions and jeopardize the future of nuclear power in the U.S."

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