Parts of Nebraska Nuclear Facility Already Under 2 Feet of Water ... But - So Far - Emergency Flood Walls Are Protecting Electrical Equipment

George Washington's picture

Washington’s Blog

ABC news reports that there is already 2 feet of water at some parts of the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant:

Although the Fort Calhoun plant ... is surrounded by an eight foot tall and 16 foot wide protective berm, two feet of water have already made its way to several areas of the Fort Calhoun plant, but authorities say there is no immediate danger at either plant.

CNN confirms:

nuclear regulators say two Nebraska nuclear power plants have
protected critical equipment from the rising waters of the Missouri
River even though flooding has reached the grounds of one of them.


Parts of the grounds are already under two feet of water as the swollen Missouri overflows its banks. But the Omaha Public Power District, which owns the plant, has built flood walls around the reactor, transformers and the plant's electrical switchyard,
the NRC said."They've surrounded all the vital equipment with berms,"
Dricks said.An 8-foot-tall, water-filled berm, 16 feet wide at its
base, surrounds the reactor containment structure and auxiliary
buildings, the NRC says. The plant has brought in an additional
emergency diesel generator, water pumps, sandbags and firefighting
equipment as well, according to regulators.

The 2 feet of water is in areas like parking lots, not within the reactor building itself.

The Omaha World-Herald notes that the river is expected to rise an additional 4-5 inches at the Fort Calhoun and Cooper nuclear plants:

Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that releases from
Gavins Point would increase another 7 percent to 160,000 cubic feet per


That will add about 4 to 5 inches in the river’s level
at Fort Calhoun and Cooper Nuclear Stations, according to information
from the corps and the National Weather Service...


The NRC has
added two inspectors and a branch chief to the permanent two-person
inspection crew at Fort Calhoun station, said Lara Uselding,
spokeswoman. They are providing around-the-clock oversight there.

Fort Calhoun's chief nuclear officer Dave Bannister says that the river would have to rise another 3 1/2 feet above where it stands now to pose a danger to the reactor.  See this and this.

Hopefully, no dams will break, and the emergency measures will work.

Here are photos of the Aqua Dam installed outside the Fort Calhoun plant courtesy of the official OPPD Flood and Outage blog:

June 10th (AquaDam protecting the Administration Building at Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station):

June 14th view of the plant and AquaDam:

the above image, and then zoom in ... you can see a man walking across
the bridge on the left side of the picture to get a sense of scale.)

June 15th (AquaDam protecting the nuclear station):

June 17th (AquaDam protecting the nuclear station):


There are also dry cask storage units at the facility, outside of the main building. Here are pictures of the dry casks being delivered to the facility.

The area in red shows where one writer (Tom Burnett) believes the dry cask units are located.

dry cask.jpgHere is a clearer version of the photo:

(Click photo for larger image.)


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JABenningfield's picture

Still concerned about this - there are now NO radiation counts anwhere near Nebraska on the radiation network sites. There a count available last week. Guess I should have been taking screen shots.

doomandbloom's picture

go long geiger counters...

Element's picture

Lets face it, even if the worst happened (which it won't), they have plenty of water over the rods me thinks. Mildly interesting but not much of a story here.

majia's picture

Element you posted a remarkable analysis here a few weeks ago

Have you changed your opinion on any of your analysis posted here?

I'm very interested in what you have to say about the current status of the plant, especially the problems with spent fuel pool #4 and the high radiation readings in the reactors, especially #1.


Element's picture

Not really, it's worse than people think (for the Japanese) so I try not to think about it, most of the time.

But since I wrote that I notice almost everyone now realises something very like it is what occurred.

Prior to that almost no one was just coming out and saying it. And that's why I wrote it in such a vivid way so people would finally get it.

I'm irritated that TEPCO and Tokyo have hidden the video of the explosions of No.4, and the internal rupture and steam venting of No.2, at 5:45AM, and 6:15AM, respectively, on March the 15th.

This video should be in the public domain, right now, and I find it totally unacceptable that it's been suppressed and the real story of exactly what occurred with No.4 has been swept under the carpet. Something occurred at No.4 that was so bad and so serious and visually dramatic that they don't want us to EVER see it.

What I do know, from reports of that time, is that No.4 was in flames continuously from 5:45AM until after 11AM, so something was burning there, and that it burned more than once, and then again several days later. So there was a fuel and an ignition source, and it was not AC mains electricity.

And I do not think the No.4 SFP was the source of the exploded gasses that destroyed it. I have discounted that, as the submerged video of SPF4 showed no signs of thermal damage, or blast damage, or oxidation, and the very high radioactivity in the water could be explained by rain and fire hose water washing condensed deposited vapors on the structure into the SF.

Same applies to No3's SFP for that matter, so I'm not in fact convinced Gundersen was right about his theory of a hydrogen pressure-wave creating a nuclear energy release transient, that was doused and flooded again, after it created a true shock wave.

Frankly, if that had occurred I would expect No.3's SFP concrete and steel and its plumbing to be shattered and unable to retain water at all. The fact that it doesn't leak, seems to contradict Arnie Gundersen's otherwise excellent initial overall analysis of No.3. So I instead go with the notion that No.3's demolition energy was focused upwards by its stronger walls (compared to No.1's metal structure, which lost its walls very easily). In other words, No.3's roof came off easier than its much more robust heavy concrete walls, so the energy was force, initially had to go upwards, not outwards.

At No.1 roof structure the reverse was true, as it was easier structurally to blow the walls off than it was to blow the roof off, hence the roof of No.1 collapsed onto the floor, almost intact, after that explosion.

And that is the only reason why No.3's explosion LOOKED more energetic, but probably wasn't.

It's because the gasses could much more easily expand laterally and escape at No.1, so the pressure did not get so high (Occams razor is happier with that).

But at No.3, a lot more pressure was required to (exponentially) build up before the roof popped off and the roof supports and walls finally collapsed at the end of the blast. More pressure equates to more velocity and a sharper shock front and stuff getting tossed much further. But not necessarily any real difference in the gas combustion energy released. So I see little reason to assume a 'nuclear event' in the SFP of No.3, as the blast wave, the mechanical shock, and the resulting 'wind' in that SFP area could have lifted the fuel racks and rods out of there and dispersed them, minus any nuclear energy release from the fuel racks.

Else, the floor of the SFP at  No.3 would have been missing (equal but opposite force ... and all that ... right?).

As for No.1 (and No.2, and No.3) it's eating the foundation, and it can't auto-depressurize, so it could blow, and at some point the fuel will destroy its outer containment, and release that pressure, if it doesn't explode first.

Only flooding the basement levels of 1, 2 and 3, can stop the entire buildings reaching >500C, and then begin to shed floors and walls as the rebar weakens and sags and the concrete stress-cracks. At some point bits will fall of, it could take 6 months or 6 years, but they are going to fall apart if they get hot. So this means the highly contaminated water output will not stop any YEAR soon, and nor will the water vapor.

As for No.4 SFP, that situation can only get worse until the fuel is all removed. We can only hope that it will continue to hold water and that the leakage remains manageable. It may not.


Any one of these reactors can make things much worse than they are now and the chances are fairly good that one of them will. And if that happens then the whole situation spirals out of manageable proportions, and probably destroys Japan's capacity to sustain a population. And this is why I try not to think about it much.


Friday afternoon here, and I'm gone.

majia's picture

There is evidence that there has been a recent uptick in the news blackout concerning Calhoun, coupled with cyberattacks against the main source of community information and forums on nuclear issues (e-news).

Furthermore, EPA radnet data have selectively become "under review" in what appear to be relevant areas of Kentucky, Oklahoma, Minnesota, etc.

Yesterday on this forum or the other one on nuclear events, someone posted a link to a company that specializes in radiation emergencies and it had a hypothetical diagram of Fort Calhound's hypothetical radiation dispersion plume.... I have to re-find the link. I'm trying to connect whether or not cities in the hypothetical area are the same cities under review at radnet.

The Ft Calhoun red cross evacuation center was closed and evacuees moved elsewhere.

zorba THE GREEK's picture

 It seems to me that storing spent fuel rods at power plants to save money

 is not such a good idea as it compounds any problems, especially at sites

 as vulnerable as this one or fugiwhatever.     

SparkySC's picture

How would you transport them? 

Put them in the back of the Country Squire Station Wagon, pop over to Sonic for lunch and drop them off at the WM recycle center?

PulauHantu29's picture

"It's only a tiny leak," the Japanese PM told his People....he he he.

SparkySC's picture

Did GE build/design this power plant too?

It's only in a flood plain. Who woulda thunk it?


Next you'll tell me there are nuclear reactors in Earthquake zones.





How about on the Aleutians? Did GE suggest putting one over here too?, default;" name="_e144cd7db6b193cb15c01f47dbc570b06d44f2fb" href="" target="_r">Huge 7.4 earthquake rocks Alaskan islands: USGS - 16 minutes ago

A powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake has shaken Alaska's Aleutian Islands, and US officials issued a localized tsunami warning near the remote island chain.



Jim in MN's picture

There's nothing but the elevation of the concrete pad protecting the fuel storage casks.  They are sitting right there by the plant in the pictures.  But they are unlikely to just fail from a soaking.  The problem is, no one knows what a good, thorough soaking will do to the concrete and other cask material long term.  Pretty tough to reload the things on the fly...they are rated to last about 50 years, or that's the story.  Supposed to be in permanent storage by then.  The casks are 'intermediate term' storage. 

Water in the plant would be more of a problem.  But then it always is.  They'll probably be fine. 

mt paul's picture

take a bunch of them

spent fuel rod casks 

build a raft 

and do the Huck Fin thing ..

High Plains Drifter's picture

what is the water displacement for a 2000 ton cask?



bakken's picture

Only folks in the vicinity of Omaha and those Eastwards need worry about a disaster.  But if the real damage can be lied out of existence there won't be any problem at all, will there?  You can use radioactive corn for ethanol, can't you?   Hell, this is going on in the Midwest-Who in Washington really gives a shit???  The Beltway is 1,500 miles away, no problem.

In Iowa, Newt G. was overheard to say, "Hey guys,  I don't know about you, but I am not personally worried about radiation induced birth defects......Hahahahah.  I can always have new FOSTER kids, like Michelle!!!!"

Burticus's picture

Hmmm...  This post reminded me that Benjamin Fulford alleged in his May 10 blog that:

New Madrid fault line attack underway, 15 nuclear reactors targeted

The “once in 500 year” flooding of the Mississippi river over the New Madrid fault line is part of a campaign directed against the American people, according to multiple intelligence agency (MI6, CIA, FSB, Japan Security police) sources. The HAARP caused flooding is expected to be followed by an earthquake and then a “nuclear emergency” involving the 15 nuclear reactors located in the region. This will be a pretext for mass evacuations into FEMA camps, the sources say. The best way to derail this plan, apart from arresting the criminal cabal in Washington D.C., is to widely announce and denounce these plans in advance.

Disclosure:  Long Guillotines-R-Us

High Plains Drifter's picture

thank God they pulled it off........major, major problem when they get this mess cleared up, somebody please tell them to shut this fucker down, please??????

bakken's picture

Uhhh,  what about the higher flood crest expected in July, like 5 feet more of water.  People need to be praying that doesn't come about.  I can only hope the ArmyCorps is as dumb as they seem and have made a bad prediction on flood height.

americanspirit's picture

Even if these nuke do get overrun all that's going to happen is that the radiation will wind up in the Gulf of Mexico. A couple of tanker loads of Corexit ought to fix things right up. However, I'ld lay off the Bud Light for a few thousand years. And Orville Redenbacher is definitely off the menu. And Omaha beef - corn fed and all - might wanna switch to Kobe beef - oh, wait, never mind. Jeeezh - this might actually be something serious. Good thing we have Homeland Security on the job. By the way, Google 'Monju reactor' just to keep your mind off of Fort Calhoun. Goodbye Tokyo, sayonara Osaka, hasta la vista Kyoto. And don't anybody run around with their hair all on fire.

tamboo's picture

stuxnet much?

does this place use israeli magna security

or israeli magal group security?

mo river should be glowing in the dark soon enough.

martial law anyone?

Ben Fleeced's picture

For appeasement purposes:

7,000 Jews out of 845,000 residents. Yep, it's a conspiracy.

Maybe your avatar could be a pope with crosses for eyes. ALAS copy and paste would require an original artist.


BigJim's picture

That's odd - wikipedia is reporting that of Israel's

      population of approximately 7,746,000 inhabitants (...) 75.4% of them were Jewish (about 5,795,000 individuals)

Where'd you get the 845,000 figure? Or are you suggesting stuxnet originated in Nebraska?

Juice Box's picture

Coming Soon To A Grocery Store Near You - Corn Nuts the Size of Watermelons!

Ben Fleeced's picture

do not lead people to invest in corn from this area. Corn was only knee high before because of the spring rains (should be shoulder height by now). Watch food prices.

trav7777's picture

looks like some fine kayaking

Ben Fleeced's picture

Got the woody on the river bank and a board in the flow.

Are you an Avalon House wife? Kayaks? Seriously? Its Nebraska.

My Grandmother cut sod to build a house. What did yours do? Finance? T.he F.uture!

ZerOhead's picture

Turdster... someone beat you to it! :)

Listen up... time to kill two birds with one stone.

Too much water in Nebraska... too little in Texas.

A couple of thousand surplus nuclear weapons ready to be destroyed and a much needed water diversion project on the list of things to do...

You thinking what I'm thinking?

jo6pac's picture

Please everyone it will be OK, this comment it brought to buy ($$$) the govt. you can trust us not to get into wars and other miss adventures for minerals.

Ben Fleeced's picture

Has Nebraska asked it be declared a National Disaster? What $$ are you refering to my friend?

penisouraus erecti's picture

Well, this is good - no need to pump water in to cool things down...........

Gotta look at the bright side once in a while

mick_richfield's picture

Some of us are "The Containment Vessel is Half Empty" guys, and some of us are "The Containment Vessel is Half Full" guys.

jmw_hobbes's picture

What is even more surprising is that those dams should/can/could be easy terrorist targets to cause mass chaos in the central US.  Makes you wonder if the threats of terror being pushed upon us all to remove our civil rights really are internal false flag events.

I sure hope they have those dams covered with Americas best to protect us all against the obvious.




Freddie's picture

Anyone know if Hussein's pal Warner Buffett drowned?  Quite of few idiots on ZH voted for Hussein in 2008 to help the terrorists.

Stuck on Zero's picture

When are people going to learn to stop building in flood plains?

penisouraus erecti's picture

++++ When? Maybe when our leaders are smarter than this guy.........

Stuck on Zero's picture

When are people going to learn to stop building in flood plains?

gdogus erectus's picture

Some shots of the plant if you want to wade through these pics:  (from Rense)

ZerOhead's picture

Sorry... comment moved to higher ground...

dick cheneys ghost's picture

Here is the National Radiation Map.....the site is about 20 miles from the nuke plant and appartently located inside....updated every minute...


George Washington's picture

It looks higher there than anywhere else in the country. But who's running the geiger counter there? Someone reliable?

hardcleareye's picture

I have been watching this site for some time now.  Gave thought and did some research into purchasing a monitor and hooking it up to the site. 

Like all instrumentation it depends on the calibration to get an "absolute" value.  So, a number of 40 is noted but if you start seeing 50 and higher than it's time to get concerned.  I saw some numbers north of 60 the third week of March.

What this site is good for is to watch the "trend in numbers" and go to the EPA Rad Net query site for confirmation...  that is if the data from the EPA site you are looking at is available.... and of course EPA has said that sometimes their instrumentation is not "properly calibrated".... etc. ect.

I view the site (the reporting sites in the US and Canada but NOT the two Japan sites) as a good faith effort of a "canary in a coal mine"...... (Oh lordly how long can this go on... ).


fredquimby's picture

I saw the Missouri/nebraska area one pop to 120 and above for a day about a month ago. It was then removed and has never shown a reading since.



High Plains Drifter's picture

someone on here said everything was ok about a week ago. they said they knew someone who worked there. i wish they would tell us about it now. that is a very dangerous situation. they , as at fukuskima have some very seriously bad stuff in that place. stuff, that needs constant cooling. when this is over, they should close it , close them all.

trav7777's picture

then why the fuck are you posting on the internet and wasting fucking electricity?

Ben Fleeced's picture

Ata boy.

Next question-why can't you research this and post it for the rest of us? I troll for fun, but this guy......

NotApplicable's picture

GW, you really should change your headline, as it reads that the parts of the plant are underwater, while your article states that it is really part of the grounds.

Also, it's levees breaking that are the concern, not the upstream dams (at least from what I've read).

Of course, none of this diminishes the seriousness of the problem, but it will attract criticism for sensationalism.