Emergency Update: At approximately 1:00am Sunday, June 26, the aqua-berm quickly constructed around Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station broke and electricity had to be cut. The plant is now reportedly running on emergency generators as workers try to restore electricity after water surrounded main electrical transformers. The auxiliary building at Ft. Calhoun was surrounded by water after the berm failure. A Nuclear Regulatory Commission letter said if water enters the auxilary building, there could have been a station blackout with core damage in hours.
Project Flood 2011 intensifies
Upstream of two nuclear power plants operating at heightened alert, biblical proportion flooding is has resulted in as many as 4,500 families to lose their homes in North Dakota, 25,000 homes filling with water, patrol boats responding to 911 calls, and 1100 activated National Guardsmen onsite to help. An Air Force base, overseeing 150 Minuteman III missiles in underground launch silos over 8,500 square miles, is partially under water according to CBS News on Saturday. Downstream are Nebraska’s two atomic plants causing national and international dismay plus reason for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission chief to arrive on the scene today.
Some compare one of the two U.S. nuclear power plants threatened by floodwaters to Fukushima, not only due to the floodwater. Both Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station and Fukushima are storehouses for years of spent nuclear fuel rods, a danger highlighted by some news sources, the International International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and other watchdog groups.
“Imagine roughly 55 million acres — the entire surface of Nebraska and southwest Iowa — covered in a foot of water. Now imagine trying to funnel all that water down a drainage canal surrounded by airports and homes, businesses and farms. You can begin to grasp the unprecedented, slow-developing danger facing folks from Montana to Missouri from the Great Flood of 2011.” (World Herald)
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple said Saturday that the Souris River, upriver of the nuclear power plants, is flowing over most levees of the city Minot, surging past a 130-year-old record level. Col. S.L. Davis, commander of the 91st Missile Wing, reports “localized flooding” at a handful of missiles site. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service launched four boats to patrol flooded neighborhoods and respond to 911 calls. (CBS)