Cooper Nuclear Flood Alert Lifted

Thursday, July 14, 2011 @ 05:07 PM gHale


The Missouri River level has dropped enough near Brownville, NE, the Cooper Nuclear Station no longer must operate in an alert mode.

Since June 19, the nuclear power plant had been operating at the lowest of four alert levels established by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). That category is “Notification of Unusual Event.”

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At 9:47 a.m. Tuesday this week, Nebraska Public Power District, which owns the plant, was able to lift that designation.

The alert status was because the river reached 899 feet above sea level. For the past several days the river has consistently been below that level, NPPD said. On Tuesday, the river was at 895.8 feet.

Cooper will continue to monitor flood conditions, said Art Zaremba, NPPD’s director of nuclear safety assurance.

The majority of flood barricades at the plant will remain in place. “Should conditions change and river levels increase, plant personnel are prepared – as we always are – to respond appropriately,” Zaremba said.

The state’s second nuclear reactor, Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station north of Omaha, remains in a Notification of Unusual Event mode.

The Fort Calhoun reactor, which belongs to the Omaha Public Power District, has remained off line because of flooding. Cooper has continued operating, uninterrupted.



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