Airspace Over Flooded Nebraska Nuclear Power Plant Still Closed
June 16th, 2011
Via: Business Insider:
A fire in Nebraska’s Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant briefly knocked out the cooling process for spent nuclear fuel rods, ProPublica reports.
The fire occurred on June 7th, and knocked out cooling for approximately 90 minutes. After 88 hours, the cooling pool would boil dry and highly radioactive materials would be exposed.
On June 6th, the Federal Administration Aviation (FAA) issued a directive banning aircraft from entering the airspace within a two-mile radius of the plant.
“No pilots may operate an aircraft in the areas covered by this NOTAM,” referring to the “notice to airmen,” effective immediately.
Since last week, the plant has been under a “notification of unusual event” classification, becausing of the rising Missouri River. That is the lowest level of emergency alert.
The OPPD claims the FAA closed airspace over the plant because of the Missouri River flooding. But the FAA ban specifically lists the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant as the location for the flight ban.
The plant is adjacent to the now-flooding river, about 20 minutes outside downtown Omaha, and has been closed since April for refueling.