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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fort Calhoun: Fuel Storage and Flood Alert!

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The rubber barrier Surrounding the plant IS Designed to Protect external equipment: Water depth limit!


Protections_Fort_Calhoun_Nuclear_Power_Plant_Flood_Alert_Centrale_Nucleaire_Alerte_Inondation_24_06_2011
Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant encircled by a giant rubber barrier and protection against-the water (Sandbags) .

Fort_Calhoun_Nuclear_Power_Plant_Missouri_Flood_Alert_Centrale_Nucleaire_Alerte_Inondation_24_06_2011
Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant: The Spent Fuel Storage Is in a modular concrete structure at ground level.

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Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant: The Spent Fuel Storage Is in a modular concrete structure at ground level.

CARTORADIATIONS 24 06 2011

The pool at the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant was reaching capacity, so OPPD in 2006 also began to temporarily store spent fuel rods above ground in mausoleum-like concrete structures outside the nuclear plant.
Dry cask storage allows spent fuel that has already been cooled in the spent fuel pool for at least one year to be surrounded by inert gas inside a container called a cask. The casks are typically steel cylinders that are either welded or bolted closed.
There are various dry storage cask system designs. With some designs, the steel cylinders containing the fuel are placed vertically in a concrete vault; other designs orient the cylinders horizontally (example: Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant). The concrete vaults provide the radiation shielding and terrorist attacks.

Problems (litigation and security)

Litigation: "When the Fort Calhoun station was designed, the pool used to store spent fuel was never intended to be a permanent storage site. The same is true for the dry cask storage facility we use" Jones said OPPD (Omaha Public Power District).
The $20 million cost of dry cask storage thus far has been paid by the U.S. Department of Energy because of a June 2006 settlement to a lawsuit in which OPPD sued to recover its cost in handling nuclear waste.
OPPD still argues that the federal government is obligated under the 1982 law to take possession of nuclear waste for permanent disposal.
Security: To reduce the vulnerability of these dry casks, the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) should adopt new physical protection standards that enhance the security requirements for dry cask storage so that the fuel will be protected against reasonably foreseeable threats that might emerge over several decades. The new standards should consider credible scenarios (terrorist attacks, missiles, crashs, …) which could release the radioactive material from the dry casks.

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Fort Calhoun: Storage unit

CARTORADIATIONS 24 06 2011

The Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant involved the transport and assembly of 10 TransNuclear, horizontal storage modules. For the structure, using a 300-ton crane, the 50 pieces of reinforced concrete, weighing more than 2,000 tons in total.

A 200-inch stainless steel canister holds 32 assemblies of spent nuclear fuel rods after removal from a pool next to the reactor at the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant. The fuel rods have been in the reactor for four and a half years. A third of the reactor's fuel rods are replaced every 18 months.

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23 06 2011: The Army Corps of Engineers announced that releases from Gavins Point dam
would increase another 7 percent to 160,000 cubic feet per second.


"Expectations of more rain"

Reuters 23 06 2011 - The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said Wednesday it was closely monitoring conditions along the Missouri River, where floodwaters were rising at Nebraska Public Power District's Cooper Nuclear Station and Omaha Public Power District's Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska.
.../...
Flooding could complicate the restart of the Fort Calhoun plant as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects record water release from the federal dams along the Missouri River to continue until mid-August, keeping river levels high.

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On June 7, Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant (PWR - Pressurized Water Reactor)
near Omaha, filed a Notice of Unusual Event (NOUE - Number 1)
On June 19, Nebraska's other plant, Cooper Nuclear Power Station (BWR - Boiling WATER reactor)
near Brownville, filed a Notice of Unusual Event (NOUE - Number 1),


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How comforting is it to know that a nuclear facility is flood-protected by sandbags?
This would be laughable if it weren't so tragic.


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Statues that are part of the Monument for Labor in downtown Omaha stand in the rising waters of the Missouri River

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The releases at Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota hit the maximum planned amount of 150,000 cubic feet of water per second, which are expected to raise the Missouri River 5 to 7 feet above flood stage in most of Nebraska and Iowa (Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station).

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12 06 2011 Gavins Point Dam / Barrage Gavins Point
ZOOM

USA_Missouri_Map_Nuclear_Power_Plan_and_Dam
Map: Missouri Dams and Fort Calhoun / Cooper Nuclear Power Plants Unusual snow pack (+ 140%) in the Rockies in the winter is now melting and all the dams are full.
Six Missouri River dams attempting to lower their respective levels so as to avoid spillover and maintain the ability to control the rate of flow.
If the dams were full and then hit with heavy rainwater and nearby drainage they would have no capacity to regulate the downstream flow.


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Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station : Breaker 345 kV Protection (sandbags!)

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Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station : Breaker 345 kV Protection (sandbags!)

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Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant : Aqua Dam et Transformers

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Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant : Aqua Dam Northwest

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Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant : Walking Bridges Northwest

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Fort_Calhoun_Nuclear_power_plant_centrale_Nucleaire_Missouri_Nebraska_14_06_2011

USA Alert: Nebraska Nuclear Power Plants Missouri River Flood Conditions

The Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant (REP reactor) in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, currently shut down for refueling, is surrounded by flood waters from the Missouri River, Tuesday, June 14, 2011. On Tuesday, the releases at Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota hit the maximum planned amount of 150,000 cubic feet of water per second, which are expected to raise the Missouri River 5 to 7 feet above flood stage in most of Nebraska and Iowa.

In a news release, OPPD (Omaha Public Power District) says quote: "Notification of unusual event indicates events are in process or have occurred which indicate potential impacts to the plant.
It's important to note the reactor remains shut down for re-fueling and is not a threat to neighbors.
We're also told in the news release, "no release of radioactive material" has happened or is expected.
Currently OPPD is using sandbags, temporary dams and water pumps to hold the Missouri River back. As we saw first hand today, the flood already on plant property, is just getting higher."
Following are responses to flood-related rumors that OPPD has heard about.

The four emergency classifications set by the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) are listed below in order of increasing severity, according to the NRC website.

1 - Notification of Unusual Event:
Under this category, events are in process or have occurred which indicate potential degradation in the level of safety of the plant. No release of radioactive material requiring offsite response or monitoring is expected unless further degradation occurs.

2 - Alert:
If an alert is declared, events are in process or have occurred which involve an actual or potential substantial degradation in the level of safety of the plant. Any releases of radioactive material from the plant are expected to be limited to a small fraction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protective action guides (PAGs).

3 - Site Area Emergency:
A site area emergency involves events in process or which have occurred that result in actual or likely major failures of plant functions needed for protection of the public. Any releases of radioactive material are not expected to exceed the EPA PAGs except near the site boundary.

4 - General Emergency:
A general emergency involves actual or imminent substantial core damage or melting of reactor fuel with the potential for loss of containment integrity. Radioactive releases during a general emergency can reasonably be expected to exceed the EPA PAGs for more than the immediate site area.
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