Nuke plant no longer reporting low-level flood situation
BROWNVILLE, Neb. (AP) — Officials say the swollen Missouri River’s water level has dropped far enough that a Nebraska nuclear power plant no longer is reporting a low-level flood situation.
The Nebraska Public Power District declared a “notification of unusual event” March 15 at its Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville, about 59 miles (95.5 kilometers) south of Omaha. The notification is the lowest and least serious of four emergency classifications established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for nuclear power plants. The district says it means simply that: Conditions are not ordinary.
The district’s Mark Becker said Monday that the plant never stopped generating power, because the rising river water stopped 4 inches (10 centimeters) short of the level at which the reactor had to be shut down as a safety precaution.
The river’s rapid rise was fueled by snowmelt and storm runoff from a late-winter weather system.