On June 6th, a fire in an electrical switch room at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant briefly knocked out cooling for a pool holding spent nuclear fuel prompting a Level 4 Emergency to be declared by the NRC, and a 2 nautical mile flight ban imposed over the facility by the FAA. This spring, massive rains throughout the Midwest and Plains have created additional complications. The nuclear plant is now reportedly completely surrounded by flood waters with only sandbags and earthen berms to protect it from the rising flood waters.
The Fort Calhoun dykes are reportedly designed to sustain a few weeks of flood waters, but flooding in the area is now expected to last3 to 4 months, with a 5+ foot rise above flood stage.
The nuclear facility was taken offline to refuel earlier this year, so the plant’s reactors are not currently active. While a reactor meltdown is not a risk, an interruption in the cooling to the supply of spent fuel on the site is worrisome.
The plant’s officials are insisting that despite the Level 4 Emergency, there have been no radiation leaks as of yet and none are expected.
Oddly, at the writing of this, there have been no known reports of this story by national news media.