Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Now I don't know how reliable the source is but having seen it I thought it should go here.

US Orders News Blackout Over Crippled Nebraska Nuclear Plant | Pakalert Press

A shocking report prepared by Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency (FAAE) on information provided to them by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) states that the Obama regime has ordered a "total and complete" news blackout relating to any information regarding the near catastrophic meltdown of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant  located in Nebraska.

According to this report, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant suffered a "catastrophic loss of cooling" to one of its idle spent fuel rod pools on 7 June after this plant was deluged with water caused by the historic flooding of the Missouri River which resulted in a fire causing the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) to issue a "no-fly ban" over the area.

Located about 20 minutes outside downtown Omaha, the largest city in Nebraska, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant is owned by Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) who on their website denies their plant is at a "Level 4" emergency by stating: "This terminology is not accurate, and is not how emergencies at nuclear power plants are classified."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 18th, 2011 at 08:22:52 AM EST
Well if there is a total news blackout then there won't be a detailed denial, IMHO. For, on the linked page, OPPH claims much more than inaccurate terminology. The most essential:
  • They say the 'Level 4' was a Notification of Unusual Event (NOUE - this is the lowest level on a four-level scale), namely a warning of Missisippi floodwaters expected to reach a certain level, which was issued on 6 June, three days before the prediction came true and that level was actually reached.
  • Regarding the spent fuel pool, they admit that one cooling pump lost power due to a fire (on 7 June, two days before the waters reached the NOUE level), but claim the automatic fire extinguisher worked and power to the pump was re-gained after 90 minutes, until when the pool temperature increased only "a few degrees".
  • The above event was actually subject to a higher emergency level, an Alert (that is the second-lowest level of that four-level scale), which was called off three and a half hours later.

Based on this, it would appear someone is engaging in scaremongering.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 18th, 2011 at 09:05:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A shocking report prepared by Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency (FAAE)

Needless to say, I can't find such a report at the FAAE site, in English or Russian. In fact I can't find this news in any Russian source. Methinks someone in Pakistan made it up.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jun 18th, 2011 at 09:20:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shows how total the news blackout is :D

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 18th, 2011 at 09:23:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
:-)

There are news reports in Russian about Fort Calhoun: about the no-fly zone declared above it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jun 18th, 2011 at 09:28:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The purported FAA restriction is Seemingly Here.

Here's the plant.



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 18th, 2011 at 09:36:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The no-fly zone is not in question, its justification is. According to OPPD, it was "set up by the FAA as a result of Missouri river flooding" – implying that it had nothing to do with the plant. The articles in Russian refer back to a blog post; the blogger called the plant and got this more detailed info:

Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes

I spoke by phone with Mike Jones, a spokesman for the plant. He told me that due to the rising flood waters, a lot of planes and news helicopters were flying over the reactor and some were coming in quite low.

The plant manager told the FAA he was concerned they might collide with power lines or each other. This is the reason the FAA issued a Notice to Airmen banning over-flights of the reactor. The NRC says this isn't a an issue regarding the potential release of radiation.

Here's what the NRC's spokesman said about it

"After last week's Alert, and with all the interest in flooding on the Missouri, news helicopters began flying near the plant. We understand that the plant owner contacted the FAA and asked them to remind pilots of the basic NOTAM is still in effect. As far as we can tell that had zero to do with the plant operations and everything to do with assisting in flood relief."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 18th, 2011 at 09:46:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If thats the expanded one what's the usual NFZ round a nuke plant?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 18th, 2011 at 09:49:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The article is sensational, yes, and for the moment we discount it.  

But take a look at the embeded video:  

Basics are, first, an electrical fire of unknown cause, successfully extinguished, that temporarily knocked out cooling to the spent-fuel pool, now restored.  They dodged a bullet, and have unknown damage to repair, but yes, cooling is working, according to the NRC reports.  

Second, the plant has about one foot of margin left.  A rise of one third meter or more puts the plant at risk of flooding and failing utterly (including melting down).  The flood right now is stable, but this could change if there is more bad weather, or if any of the upstream dams--already saturated--fail.  This danger will persist for months.  

This last would explain a news blackout, and the no fly zone.  It is also true they don't want anything knocking down power into the plant.  That too is "Game Over, Man.  Game Over!"  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Sat Jun 18th, 2011 at 02:25:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now you assume that the American government is able and willing to organise a "news blackout."

Historical experience indicates otherwise. It tends to be possible to find the story in the Unserious but reality-based part of the press (hell, usually even by simply going to the US government's primary sources instead of the spin doctors), without going into tinfoil hat territory.

And the US government seems to like it that way. "See, we have a free press - look at Amy Wallace and Matt Taibbi. It's just Too Bad that their readership is counted in five figures on a good day."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jun 18th, 2011 at 05:35:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]


The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Sat Jun 18th, 2011 at 10:26:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US government doesn't have to arrange it.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 19th, 2011 at 03:22:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Second, the plant has about one foot of margin left.

Source? The link provided by asdf downthread indicates a margin more like six feet, and preparedness for two feet more:

...missing from these reports (and from the original release) was the elevation of the plant itself, which turns out to be -- surprise! -- 1,004 feet. According to NRC Senior Public Affairs Officer Victor Dricks, the river yesterday was at 1,005.7 feet and is expected to crest at 1,006.4 feet. By then, the plant will be standing in more than two feet of water; luckily, the eight-foot-tall Aqua Dams should keep the water at bay. And the river is still well below the worst-imaginable scenario that OPPD is required to prepare for: a flood reaching 1,014 feet above sea level.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jun 19th, 2011 at 08:55:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as of Sunday 26 June, the berm is breached.  Lost power when the substation flooded, since restored.  No problem!  

We are looking forward to three more months of this!  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Mon Jun 27th, 2011 at 01:36:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are running on back-up diesel generators.  

It will probably be impossible to restore power until the water recedes.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Mon Jun 27th, 2011 at 10:24:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your link:

Emergency generators powered the plant until an off-site power supply was connected Sunday afternoon, according to OPPD.

Details do count, even if I agree that the story is about underestimated risks. The latest is that the AquaDam berth was damaged not by the flood but human interference:

Added flood protection at Nebraska nuclear plant fails | Iowa Independent

Workers with Omaha Public Power District, owners and operators of Calhoun, had placed a massive AquaDam around the structure and its other flood protection systems. The AquaDam, a tube structure filled with water that was eight-feet tall and 16-feet wide, was punctured early Sunday morning during onsite work.

"Some mechanical equipment tore the side of the dam," Victor Dricks, Region 4 spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, told The Iowa Independent Monday by phone. "As a result, the plant switched to emergency power for a period of a about 12 hours."

NRC inspectors were onsite when the incident occurred, and flood waters rushed auxiliary and other buildings at the site. The power supply was cut because water infiltrated the plant's main electrical transformers. Power has since been switched away from emergency generators and to an off-site power supply.

Keeping power at the plant is critical since the reactor core has been refueled and spent fuel remains in a cooling pool. Dricks said the failure of the dam did not adversely impact either the core or the cooling pool. Dry cask storage of spent fuel has long been exposed to the flood waters and, as Dricks told The Iowa Independent last week, poses no risk.

Other, more solid berms were located inside the area also being protected by the AquaDam. Those protections are holding with minor seepage and, of course, additional rainfall being pumped away from the structure and back into the river.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 28th, 2011 at 01:27:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile, the maximum expected flood level was apparently raised, but the article is inconsistent on whether that's 1,008 or 1,011 feet. They also write about emergency measures useful until 1,036 feet, and also say:

Added flood protection at Nebraska nuclear plant fails | Iowa Independent

Much of the good fortune at the plant during this crisis has been the result of earlier inspections by regulatory officials that revealed several imperfections in relation to flood preparedness at the plant. Because of the inspections and subsequent work by OPPD officials, many of problems that could have spelled catastrophe during this flood have been mitigated. OPPD workers first began flood prevention activities during the weekend of May 21.

One year off and there would have been a second Fukushima.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 28th, 2011 at 01:37:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a reputable and calm assessment of the Nebraska plant. The most sensational paragraph:

The plant began commercial operation in 1973, long after the construction of six huge dams -- from Fort Peck in Montana to Gavins Point in South Dakota -- that control the Missouri River flows and normally prevent major floods. But, this spring, heavy rains and high snowpack levels in Montana, northern Wyoming, and the western Dakotas have filled reservoirs to capacity, and unprecedented releases from the dams are now reaching Omaha and other cities in the Missouri River valley. Floodgates that haven't been opened in 50 years are spilling 150,000 cubic feet per second -- enough water to fill more than a hundred Olympic-size swimming pools in one minute. And Fort Calhoun isn't the only power plant affected by flooding on the Missouri: The much larger Cooper Nuclear Station in Brownville, Nebraska, sits below the Missouri's confluence with the Platte River -- which is also flooding. Workers at Cooper have constructed barriers and stockpiled fuel for the plant's three diesel generators while, like their colleagues at Fort Calhoun, they wait for the inevitable.

The main UCS gripe is the lousy reporting of what's going on...

http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/columnists/dawn-stover/rising-water-falling-journalism

by asdf on Sun Jun 19th, 2011 at 02:29:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display: