Negligence and Cover-Ups at Fort Calhoun Reactor
Nuclear Catastrophe Imminent in Nebraska?By JOSEPH GIAMBRONE (counterpunch.org) June 27
"If there is a complete loss of power on site temporary pumps that run on gas can circulate cooling water through the spent fuel pool and reactor core."
"The NRC says its inspectors were at the plant when the berm failed and have confirmed that the flooding has had no impact on the reactor shutdown cooling or the spent fuel pool cooling." (Sam Womack, June 26)
"The [Ft. Calhoun] plant is designed to withstand waters up to 1,014 feet above mean sea level, according to the OPPD."
"But a year ago, those new defenses were not in place, and the plant's hard barriers could have failed against a 1,010-foot flood ... at flooding levels above 1,008 feet, the plant "would experience a loss of offsite power and loss of intake structure" (NYT)
"The precise level -- 1,009.5 feet -- is written into the plant's operating licenses as a flooding 'design basis' threat that the plant must be guarded against." (NYT)
"OPPD planned to extend the barrier to 1,014 feet by stacking sandbags on top of some steel floodgates that protected the auxiliary building, and to use more sandbags to safeguard the water intake structure and its essential cooling water pumps. "
"We presented our analysis to [NRC] which we felt indicated that the design basis [for the flooding threat] should remain 1,009 feet," rather than 1,014 feet, he said." (NYT)
"At 1,008.5 feet, the technical support center used by emergency technicians would have been inundated... At 1,010 feet, water would begin to enter the auxiliary building, "shorting power and submerging pumps. The plant could then experience a station blackout with core damage estimated within 15 to 18 hours..." (NYT)
"The NRC has not completed its evaluation of the new defenses installed at Fort Calhoun..."