Skip to main content

View Diary: Would a little American nuclear emergency make you look up? We're having one (225 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Cooper downstream might be more trouble. (11+ / 0-)

    At least Ft. Calhoun is upstream from where the Platte River empties into the Missouri. Cooper is downstream and the Platte will be adding to the flooding problem due to heavy snowpack in Wyoming and recent rains upstream.

    Cooper is a BWR and it's possible it may need to shut down.

    From the Lincoln Journal Star today:

    The north access road to Cooper Nuclear Station is inaccessible due to flooding and workers are using a south road from Nemaha to get to the plant, said Mark Becker, spokesman for Nebraska Public Power District. Workers recently raised the south access road by 3 inches to make it more stable.

    NPPD plans to erect barriers on the exterior doors of plant buildings Friday, he said. Plant officials also have stockpiled more diesel fuel for emergency generators. Another tanker truck with fuel is scheduled to arrive this week.

    The nuclear power plant, about three miles south of Brownville, continues to operate. Cooper generates about 25 percent of NPPD's electricity.

    Cooper sits at 895.7 feet above sea level. As of Friday, the river level was at 897 feet. Federal regulations require the plant to shut down when flood waters reach 902 feet.

    Shutting down Cooper would take about 4 to 10 hours, Becker said.

    "If we need to shut down immediately, the reactor can be scrammed, which takes about 2 to 3 seconds to shut down," he said

    •  Fukushima scramed in seconds, melted 16 hrs later (8+ / 0-)

      That scram in 2-3 seconds is not a cold shutdown.  It will still require electrical power to pump water to cool it down, or it will melt in hours.

    •  but does "shutdown" really mean SHUT-DOWN? (7+ / 0-)

      I only learned recently that shutting down nuke plants doesn't really mean turning it off like it does a coal or gas fired plant. After nukes 'shutdown' one still must cool the fuel, that takes a year or more, so it is still dangerous as hell if a disaster happens.

      Some of the reactors in Japan were "shutdown" but still melted down and released radiation.

      America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

      by cacamp on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 09:17:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  cacamp (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dirtfarmer, rja, Wee Mama, kurt, Adept2u

        Shutdown does NOT take a year. . . A plant is typically brought down to zero power over a weeks time, all fuel is unloaded, 2/3 of that fuel will be reinstalled with and additional 1/3 being new fuel. The arrangement of the fuel changes to give the unit maximum power for new. one cycle and 2 cycles old.

        It's back up and running, synced to grid in around a month total. . .

        Netroots Nation: Burning Man for Progressives

        by Gilmore on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 09:37:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Gilmore (6+ / 0-)

          Unlikely the Missouri will rise another 5 feet and force shutdown. Six huge reservoirs upstream in the Dakotas and Montana releasing record flows in an attempt to alleviate situation and restore some storage capacity. Reservoirs on the Platte almost full and releasing near record amounts.

          Didn't mean to be pessimistic, shutdown of Cooper seems very unlikely. But flooding is occurring and Missouri is near levee tops in places. Breaching near Hamburg, Iowa and town may be flooded.

          Fairly confident electrical power to Cooper can be maintained under the worst circumstances. Worst scenario would be heavy rains upstream on the Platte in Nebraska and more heavy rains in the Missouri basin in the Dakotas and northern Nebraska.

          What happens if the Missouri becomes unmanageable and Cooper is more seriously threatened? Blow the levees upstream? I'm no expert on any of these matters, just a worried camper

        •  cooling is what takes a year (3+ / 0-)

          power is turned off but the spent rods remain hot in both temperature and radiation levels. They continue to be dangerous as far as heat for a year and radioactive for generations. In Japan some of the melted down reactors were "shutdown" before the tsunami, remember?

          So even if a plant is "shutdown" it isn't really shut down.

          America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

          by cacamp on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 10:21:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site