Sunday, June 19, 2011

ft. calhoun - how bad can it get?

Video - Arnie Gunderson on Fort Calhoun near Omaha, Nebraska

Hawaiinewsdaily | Radiation, at minimum in the form of tritium, and more likely other particles and radionuclides, are leaking into the Missouri River from the Fort Calhoun nuclear generation plant in Nebraska.

I do not have proof. What I do have is the knowledge that every reactor is susceptible to small leaks at any time. Typically they are undiscovered and thus unreported – they are a few drops here and a few drops there from an improper weld or a stressed fitting – maybe the last one of the day before pau-hana time. And he intended to check it later, but never did. New baby, vacation, other things to think about. So thirty years later there are a couple gallons of it sitting under a pipe somewhere, not visible from the inspection point – and hey, this is all sealed up anyway….except for that pesky water leak the NRC is upset about…but a little water can’t hurt….

Until the plant gets submerged — or nearly so by a fast-running river which doesn’t cover the top (yet) but sure washes out all the leaky lines and the incomplete repair jobs which we didn’t care much about at the time because the river would never go that high.

So we are all standing on top of the buildings watching water pour in one side and out the other. Sandbags are sandbags. One million gallons of water a second washes sandbags away and all the cute little plastic pipes full of water – supported by sandbags and chain and not designed to hold 8 million pounds of water a second. Tomorrow it might be 150 million gallons of water a minute. If the dams hold. But we all know they aren’t going to — they are are right at the top of the US DAM potential failure list. The ‘domino’ dams.

Let’s skip that. At least we know why there is a no-fly zone around the plant. Workers are being brought in by helicopter and boat — to the roof and to SECOND STORY windows — maybe third story by tomorrow.

So….it’s a sand castle and the tide is coming in. Once the water washes out the underpinnings, the whole thing may happily slosh downstream until it hits the next one…

Is that all? Not hardly. The Cooper nuclear plant can’t discharge sludge and it’s partially submerged just like Fort Calhoun. We don’t require any special knowledge to grasp what is going on. The plants have windows and doors and control rooms and pumps and heat exchangers and expended fuel pools. And they are all going underwater – but not like Fukushima where the water washed in and washed out. This is just going to get worse through August.

But it isn’t all bad. The Missouri river is cold enough to keep the pools and cores cool all by itself. And it’s also powerful to pull the fuel out and irradiate half the country.

And about that time, the hemp ropes are gonna come out.


CNu said...

On the local feed unsurprisingly, officials say Nebraska nuke plant is safe from flood
Read more:

Tom said...

:\ rivers are convenient for cooling water.

CNu said...

Listening to the Army Corps of Engineers daily situation calls seem a little at odds with the National Weather Services hydrological forecasts....,

nanakwame said...

CNu said...

Cooper came close to shutdown yesterday, just 8 more weeks of predicted torrential rains to go;

The bloated Missouri River rose to within 18 inches of forcing the
shutdown of a nuclear power plant in southeast Nebraska but stopped and
ebbed slightly Monday, after several levees in northern Missouri failed
to hold back the surging waterway.
The river has to hit 902 feet above sea level at
Brownville before officials will shut down the Cooper Nuclear Plant,
which sits at 903 feet, Nebraska Public Power District spokesman Mark
Becker said.

Flooding is a concern all along the river because of
the massive amounts of water that the Army Corps of Engineers has
released from six dams. Any significant rain could worsen the flooding
especially if it falls in Nebraska, Iowa or Missouri, which are
downstream of the dams.

The river is expected to rise as much as 5 to 7 feet
above flood stage in much of Nebraska and Iowa and as much as 10 feet
over flood stage in parts of Missouri. The corps predicts the river will
remain that high until at least August.

Becker said the river rose to 900.56 feet at
Brownville on Sunday, then dropped to 900.4 feet later in the day and
remained at that level Monday morning. The National Weather Service said
the Missouri River set a new record Sunday at Brownville when its depth
was measured at 44.4 feet. That topped the record of 44.3 feet set
during the 1993 flooding.

The Cooper Nuclear Plant is operating at full capacity Monday, Becker said.

nanakwame said...

Don't know but maybe the Japanese are on to something:

If major land get high radation problems, hmmm

Makheru Bradley said...

So the flood risk was not a factor in the decision to build along side these massive rivers--brilliant!!!

Tom said...

A factor ....   I actually spoke today with a woman who works in a technical job for the state here on Public Water Something, including flood issues.   She says the discussions on flood planning are not primarily about data.   Many people do not want to hear bad news, and you are not going to tell them.  There's a three-legged stool: data, denial, and vested interest.   Think she would say the data leg of the stool is a factor, but ... 

Dale Asberry said...

They also likely built to the 100-year flood level and got the 101st year.

Makheru Bradley said...

How is it that the hegemony of the left cerebral hemisphere (logic) fails at these critical moments and submits to the emotions (profit motive) of the right cerebral hemisphere?

Makheru Bradley said...

I understand the necessity of electricity.  Whenever these types of disasters occur--think Deepwater Horizon--we find that safety is always sacrificed for profits. 

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