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Nebraska: Fort Calhoun Nuclear Reactor Dealing with Missouri Floodwaters

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There are certain things that make me cringe & spring into action: an adult cursing at a young child, an abuse of authority by a public servant, and statements issued by “officials” downplaying the magnitude of potential catastrophic events, such as what is occurring at Fort Calhoun, Nebraska.

I took some time to look into what exactly is going on with regard to the flooding and it seems that we have another case of nature putting man’s smarts to test again, as with Katrina, Fukushima, and other events. The National Weather Service gives a good background of facts relating to the flooding in Missouri, HERE.

Another couple of articles I read (Article 1 & Article 2) did a pretty good job of summing up details at the Fort Calhoun Reactor…although there are three points of interest that make me cringe & to which I must comment:

  1. The difference in altitude between the current level of 1,006.46 feet & the safe-ceiling of 1,014 feet is 7.54 feet. The tables referenced on the National Weather Service’s site assumes the water flow is (a) safely controlled behind the dam, and (b) at the flow rate of 160,ooo cubic feet/second. Let’s hope things stay within “expectations”.
  2. The arrogance of these experts’ opinions practically rule-out events which could disable the emergency diesel generators and shorten estimates on boiling timelines. How many times have we been told not to worry because “measures are in place?”
  3. If you do the calculations to arrive at their numbers, you’ll find that they provide fairly narrow margins…it almost sounds like derivatives: deriving estimates by assuming the performance of other variables. Structures no doubt have already been compromised from the flooding and the degree of damage from the previous transformer fire remains uncertain. Oh, and there is a second reactor that might be at risk of exposure: the Cooper Station.

We really hope for the best.

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