Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Protective flood berm collapses at Ft Calhoun nuclear plant; KSU has radioactive leak

Rady Ananda, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

Overwhelmed by the rising Missouri River, a 2000-foot stretch of a protective water balloon, surrounding the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska, collapsed at 1:25 AM on Sunday, June 26.

Two days earlier, Kansas State University reported an emergency when radiation leaked at 149 times the Derived Air Concentration (DAC) limit for Iodine during a trial run of its reactor.

Six and a half hours after the Ft Calhoun water berm collapsed, operators reported it to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, registering it as a “non-emergency.”

The NRC says there’s nothing to worry about. The flooding has “had no impact on the reactor shutdown cooling or the spent fuel pool cooling.”

Operating since 1973, Ft Calhoun filled its spent fuel cooling pool to capacity in 2006. The structure is 40 feet deep and 38 feet above ground.  Ft Calhoun then built a dry cask storage facility, circled below, which the NRC says does not need the AquaDam water berm:

On June 15, we first posted news about the threat to Nebraska’s nuclear plants, amid an apparent media blackout on the story. On June 23, the AP released its report of a year-long investigation into US nuclear plants indicating that 75% of them leak radiation.

Indeed, when Kansas State U ran its research reactor for 25 minutes on June 24, air quality monitors sounded the alarm that Iodine radiation had exceeded the DAC limit by 149 times above allowable levels, prompting KSU to declare an emergency.

Though four different systems caught the excessive radiation levels, operators reported their belief that this was due to the proximity of a radioactive sample near the monitors.  They did not disclose what kind of sample nor why it was near four different monitors, if that’s even possible. Plus, the sample they discuss showed Cesium, not Iodine.


On May 31, NRC Chief Gregory Jaczko defended the NRC against allegations it is too closely allied with plant operators.  He cited several examples where plants were ordered to hasten work on long overdue safety measures and applauded the NRC for its “transparency and openness.”

That transparency and openness didn’t apply to the events at both Nebraska’s nuclear power plants until after our June 15 article. It took a week for the NRC to mention it.

On June 21, Jaczko reported that the NRC ordered Ft Calhoun to beef up its flood response plan last year. He is confident that “the plant is very well positioned to ride out the current extreme Missouri River flooding while keeping the public safe.”

That same statement was reissued on June 26 after the collapse of the water berm, which is clearly part of Ft Calhoun’s flood response plan, along with sandbags and a mound of earth piled around the plant.

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen says that “sandbags and nuclear power plants should not be in the same sentence.”

Keep in mind as these events unfold that nuclear power plants provide about 40 years of electricity while producing radioactive waste that lasts thousands of years. Despite this reality, the NRC is currently developing plans for safe storage of nuclear waste up to only 300 years. (See SECY-11-0029)

Chief Jaczko joins with Senator Harry Reid and President Obama in refusing to bury the nation’s nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, which has long been deemed unsafe.  Funding for the project was cut in 2010, though the issue is still mired in litigation.

Off planet is the safest repository, given the danger posed to Earth by millennia of radioactivity. Professor Benjamin Sovacool calls nuclear energy the deadliest, costliest form of energy on record, showing that, on average, there has been one nuclear accident resulting in at least $330 million in damage every year for the past 30 years.

“The meltdown of a 500-megawatt reactor located 30 miles from a city would cause the immediate death of an estimated 45,000 people, injure roughly another 70,000, and cause $17 billion in property damage.”

That’s what we have at Ft Calhoun — a 500 MW reactor 20 miles north of Omaha.

Check back with us for updates.

Rady Ananda specializes in Natural Resources and administers the sites, Food Freedom and COTO Report


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9 comments:

The Eagle flies at night said...

Amen.

The Eagle flies at night said...

It's not just Calhoun or Brownsville, but Sac Command in Omaha, & the state with more nuke missiles than any country on the planet-- North Dakota along the Mouse River.

i hate veing lied to whilst I'm glowing in the dark.

Anonymous said...

Two democratically elected NZ prime ministers were murdered by the US govt for opposing nuclear power and weapons test near New Zealand.

Anonymous said...

Pennies a watt! That's was nuclear power's BEST lie! Well, believe a liar and expect what you see happening now....more lies!

Anonymous said...

The rise of the "investor" economy (see, "End of History"), became the ruling ideology after the collapse of the Soviet Union. 911, the Neo Conservative agenda was nothing more than "coup de ta" or completing the take over. Thus, what matters most (if not all) are investor profits and stock prices. The recent "too big to fail" was, when you think about, the flip-side of "too small to matter". In the instant matter, nuclear power represents corporate profits for Westinghouse, General Electric and of course the utilities. Their only concern is ROI, stock prices and profits. Any damages caused by their lies or misrepresentations will, like the "too big to fail" banks be paid for by fiat currency backed by the "tax payers".

Since the investor economy assumes only investors contribute to the economic foundation of the U.S., they must be given a pass on taxation. Therefore, the working class must share 100% liability for their mistakes, malfeasance and greed. Since 911, the Neo Conservative junta has made sure the SCOTUS has a Federalist majority (business above all...with big business ruling....and where money = free speech). Federalist doctrine dictates that property trumps people in the rights department (Federalists fought to keep the Bill of Rights out of the U.S. Constitution). Now, even the courts are non-responsive to people's interests (they have less speech, or, less money than corporations, hence, fewer rights).

Nothing will change because the people of the United States have no desire to do what is necessary to keep from becoming slaves (they already have become slaves). Federalists have long cherished the notion that slavery was always allowed in the U.S. Constitution (as evidenced by the South's Constitution not differing from the North's during the Civil War). Even Thomas Jefferson (an anti-Federalist) took John Loche's statement and removed "property" and replaced it with "pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration of Independence. However, despite losing the Civil War, which was to codify the Declaration into the Constitution (the only difference between North and South Constitutions), the Declaration is not law and thus, the Federalists (South) have completed their eventual victory over Northern philosophy and law. The Civil War is now lost, with the definition of slavery being expanded...the ONLY caveat being one cannot be a slave solely based upon skin color.

This 4th of July ask yourself...is the Declaration of Independent law? If it is not, why are you celebrating? The U.S. Constitution allows for slavery...without the Declaration incorporated into it. Maybe you should start asking this question and demand that what roughly half of the U.S. population died for during the Civil War and all those historic graves at Arlington are not in vain. The slaves of the antebellum South were not freed by watching television...it took a war...the most destructive war in American history to achieve freedom. Sadly, Americans today vote in favor of their own slavery.

Dru Saunders said...

Hopefully, one day soon, the majority of earth's human inhabitants will declare the Nuclear so-called 'industry' a clear and present danger to all life. I consider this 'industry' an on-going terrorist organization that, according to Dr. Rosalie Bertel is directly responsible for causing millions of stillbirths, fatal cancers, and millions of disadvantageous genetic mutations ! The main 'product' that the Nuclear 'Industry' produces is huge volumes of deadly waste that has no upper limit on the cost of maintaining, securing,and containing these same most dangerous elements.

Rady said...

Excellent summary, Dru.

Nuclear energy was stalled by Congress for decades because no one had figured out what to do with the radioactive waste.

So then Congress simply decided so what -- and began commissioning plants.

and those liars who continue to call nuclear energy safe have lost all credibility

Anonymous said...

what if KSU monitors were actually picking up FD from Japan?

Anonymous said...

Why aren't any of the comments curtailed to the important root of this story - DePopulation via Haarp Weather Wars + Nuclear Radiation Exposure???

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