JournalStar.com reports, on June 21, 2011, that the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant in Nebraska is shut down “for scheduled refueling.”
Record levels for the Missouri River were set Tuesday at Plattsmouth and Nebraska City, surpassing levels set in 1993, the National Weather Service said.
Fort Calhoun’s owner and operator, Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), says the nuclear plant won’t be restarted until the flood waters go down.
But the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency was assured that the availability of electrical power will remain stable for Nebraskans despite rising floodwaters and despite the fact that floodwaters also are lapping at the Cooper Nuclear Power Plant near Brownville, but it continues to operate. Should Cooper be shut down because of increased flooding, the utilities say they can generate enough power with their coal-fired plants or import power from other states to provide the state with sufficient power.
There are now 92 Nebraska National Guard soldiers and airmen providing direct support in the flooding emergency.
Blogger Jenny Hayden writes that the OPPD reports there have been “no releases of radioactive material since flooding of the Missouri River began.”
OPPD has issued “Flood Rumor Control” talk points for its employees and the news media, which relegate most concerns to “precautions.” At the same time, however, a Thursday update includes this as a last line buried in the story:
“For health and safety reasons, all individuals are cautioned to avoid contact with any flood water.”
Meanwhile, 669 miles north of Fort Calhoun, in North Dakota, the AP reports that the Souris River’s full weight hit Minot on Friday, June 24, 2011, swamping an estimated 2,500 homes as it soared nearly 4 feet in less than a day and overwhelmed the city’s levees.
City officials said they expected more than 4,000 homes to be flooded by day’s end. More than a quarter of the city’s 40,000 residents had evacuated earlier this week, packing any belongings they hoped to save into cars, trucks and trailers.