But Over the Weekend the River is Expected to Rise Again to within One Foot of the Depth Requiring Precautionary Shutdown of Plant
Cooper Nuclear Plant Gets Relief from Levee Breach
June 24, 2011
Associated Press – The failure of a Missouri River levee in northwest Missouri is offering a brief reprieve from flooding for southeast Nebraska near the Cooper nuclear power plant.
Before the breach, the river had been 44.8-feet-deep at Brownville on Thursday. The weather service predicts the river to return to that depth over the weekend.
The National Weather Service says the river level dropped more than a foot at Brownville to 43.1 feet Friday morning after Thursday’s levee breach upstream in northwest Missouri. The river would have to rise to 46.5 feet before reaching Cooper, but the plant would be shut down as a precaution if the river reached 45.5 feet.
The Nebraska Public Power District owns the nuclear power plant. Spokesman Mark Becker says the plant continues to operate at full capacity.
Missouri River Levee Failure in Nebraska Prompts More Evacuations
Atchison Co. Residents West of I-29 Evacuated
June 24, 2011
KETV Omaha – More mandatory evacuations have been ordered after another levee breach in Atchison County, Mo. About 250 homes have been cleared in Phelps City, Langdon and Watson.
The scene is becoming all too common along the swelling Missouri River. Highway 136 is disappearing underwater, and grain elevators tower over flooded fields. Western Atchison County is quickly going under.
“The east side of town has got 2 to 3 inches of water in it right now, and it’s still on the rise,” said Rod Meinders, mayor of Watson.
Meinders built his house high, knowing the power of the river. Now, it’s putting him and his town to the test.
The levee south of Watson failed around 9:20 p.m. Thursday. By mid-morning Friday, the river was gushing through farms, trickling across parking lots and creeping closer to families whose only choice was to get out of the way.
Knowing the water has finally arrived provides a strange sense of relief for some.
“This has been going on for almost a month now. We’ve been telling people it was going to happen,” Atchison County Deputy Emergency Manager Mark Manchester said.
While it won’t alleviate stress, the waiting is over. Meinders believes the flood will devastate his town, but there’s always some hope.
“True to living on the river bottom, we don’t give up the right until there ain’t a fight to have,” Meinders said.
The levee break eased some concern upstream at the Cooper nuclear station. The river level at Brownville dropped as the water pushed across the Missouri farmland.
At least two other levees in northwest Missouri failed this month, and others have been overrun by floodwater. Officials predict the river will remain overfull into August, so more levee problems are likely.
- June 23, 2011: Evacuation Ordered For Part Of Mills County
- June 23, 2011: Large-Scale Flood Control Operation Under Way At Eppley
- June 23, 2011: Police Enforce Restrictions Around Levees
- June 23, 2011: Fremont County Orders Evacuation Of 661 Residents
Large Levee Breach 3 Miles Up from Cooper Nuclear Station
June 24, 2011
Examiner.com – Around 9:00 Thursday night, a large levee breach occurred at Brownville, Mo. three miles upstream from Nebraska’s Cooper Nuclear Station, the atomic reactor identical twin to Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4.
Mills County issued a mandatory evacuation order, are disconnecting power today, and say the General Electric Mark 1 Boiling Water Reactor of Cooper Nuclear Plant that has been under an “unusual event declaration,” is not threatened. NRC Chairman is heading to the site.
“This is a large breach and water will be moving rapidly. Persons should stay out of this area if previously evacuated due to danger,” the Atchison County Emergency Management office said in a prepared statement according to Nebraska State Paper.
“It happened so quick that they were concerned that they may not be able to escape. The water was coming through fast and hard. … We’re not sure what the size of the break is so far,” reported Mark Manchester, deputy emergency management director for Atchison County, Mo., Thursday evening.” (Lincoln Journal Star)
The World-Herald News Service reported that Mills County issued a mandatory evacuation order Thursday for residents in part of the county.
“The safety of the residents in those areas is our greatest concern, and we needed to take action,” said Sheri Bowen, public information officer for Mills County Emergency Management. (World-Herald)
Iowa Army National Guard, the levee and drainage district staff and emergency management personnel are patrolling the levee.
CNN reported Thursday,
“It was catastrophic flooding from Japan’s March 11 tsunami that knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, resulting in three reactors melting down and producing the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
“This year’s Midwestern flooding has also led to a spate of rumors about the Fort Calhoun plant that Omaha Public Power and the NRC have been trying to knock down.”
Although the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has stated that both the Cooper Nuclear Station at Brownville and the Fort Calhoun plant remain safe, NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko will soon visit the state a spokesman for Senator Ben Nelson (NE-D) confirmed to Nebraska Watchdog.
On June 9th, Cooper Nuclear Plant issued a “Current Event Notification Report” to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission that stated,
“OFFSITE NOTIFICATION CONCERNING INABILITY TO MEET SLUDGE POND DISCHARGE PERMIT DUE TO RIVER LEVELS.”
As of Thursday morning, the river at Brownville, 70 miles from Lincoln and Omaha, had climbed within a foot and a half from forcing Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD ) to declare an “Alert” and shut down the reactor, according to Joe Jordon of the Nebraska Watchdog organization.
“While insisting that Nebraska’s two nuclear power plants remain safe in the face of record flooding from the Missouri River, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Wednesday issued a statement noting among other things ‘two feet of water’ onsite in many areas of the Fort Calhoun plant which is 19 miles north of Omaha,” Jordon reported Wednesday.
The nuclear power watchdog, Beyond Nuclear, has reported that Cooper Nuclear Station is an “atomic reactor — identical twin to Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4” and that a sludge pond has been uncontrollably releasing contents into river due to flooding.
Are Cooper’s uncontrolled sludge releases into the Missouri River in fact non-radiological? This document from Cooper (see pages 30-31) shows that sludge at Pilgrim 1 (also a GE BWR Mark 1, just like Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4) was intensely radioactive, begging the question, are the sludges in question in the holding pond at Cooper also radioactive? Note also a radiological overexposure incident at Brunswick Unit 2 atomic reactor in North Carolina, yet another GE BWR Mark 1.
Officials Order Evacuations in Atchison County Following Levee Breach
June 24, 2011
WDAF-TV – Emergency management officials in Atchison County, Missouri, have ordered the evacuation of six town following the breach of a Missouri River levee by flood waters.
Officials say that a levee along the Missouri River near Brownville, Nebraska, was breached on Thursday night around 9 p.m. Since that time, the Missouri National Guard has been dropping sandbags onto the levee along the Atchison and Holt County line to try and prevent that levee from breaking and flooding numerous communities in the area.
Sharon Rosenbohm and her husband have been farming near Rockport for 46 years. They say that they were able to rebuild following the 1993 flood, but if the floods hit their home this time, they are not sure if they will be able to rebuild./p>
“The Missouri River has eaten into half of it and it’s just a matter of time before it will eat or break through, and if that would be the case where we are standing right now, which is about 2 miles from that place, would be under eight feet of water in just a few hours,” said Rosenbohm.
Since June 6th, the National Guard, who says that say when they see fields and homes flooded it tugs at their heartstrings, knowing people have been forced out of their homes and their livelihoods, has dropped more than 160 2,000-pound sandbags to try and shore up the levee. In all, officials say that there are currently five levee breaches between Kansas City and the Iowa state line.