lessons learned = “It cant happen here”

On June 6th in Nebraska flooding on the Missouri river engulfed the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant.

The situation is stable, everything is under control

To avoid there being more pictures like this (or worse) the FAA has declared a “no fly zone” over the plant.  The FAA claims the reason for the no fly zone is the flooding, but the zone is only over the reactor.

Like Fukushima it lost control to the spent fuel cooling pumps.  Unlike Fukushima, power was restored within 100 minutes.  The river (which is 1005 feet about sea level) is still rising with the rains.  This reports they have till next week to make hard decisions.

The Pakastani press is reporting the Russians are claiming the Obama administration is declaring a news black out on this accident.  In this same report the Russians are evaluating this as a level 4 accident, which the plant operators are denying, but clearly is appropriate given that this is class for an accident with local consequences, even though radiologically it has been minor so far.  At level 4 it would be the second worst accident in US history.

I dont believe there is a news balck out, i do believe that the major outlets which went crazy of Fukushima are largely ignoring this accident, especially given that it is actually facing increasing water levels.  I do believe the minimal mainstream press there has been has been dismissive of this problem (See USA Today piece)

And it should be clear from the picture (in which outside firetrucks cant get thru because of the flooding) that you dont need a tsunami to have a reactor threatening nuclear accident.  The nuclear utilities are already planning their speeches which will focus on “lessons learned” so this does not happen again.  “We will build newer design plants, with better safety measures and we will keep building them” until there is a more serious accident or we stop them.

About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

5 responses to “lessons learned = “It cant happen here””

  1. jan haverkamp says :

    The “level 4” referred to is the US level system with 4 as lowest and 1 as highest level for informing the NRC. So this is not the heaviest incident after TMI, but merely a reportable incident. Like you pointed out earlier – the US seems to have a preference for units that confuse the rest of the world (and certainly cyber space) 😉

    Still – Fort Calhoun makes me nervous. Yes, they have time to think, but if something goes wrong they don’t think about, it does happen “here”…

  2. Steven Mentor says :

    I watch literally no TV news, so I’m not sure how “blacked out” this is. But I certainly have not heard anything about it except for this blog.

    It may be time for an anti nuclear site that tracks a range of sites that regularly post on nuclear, but which is geared (shock and amazement) for less policy wonky readers than is often the case.

    Maybe I’ll have my students do this in the Fal!

  3. mountaingirl says :

    @ Steven Check out nirs.org, the Nuclear Information and Resource Service

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