The chairman for the NRC, Gregory Jaczko toured the flooded Ft. Calhoun Nuclear Plant on June 27th, 2011. After his tour, he declared that vital equipment remains dry which is encouraging after plant operators gave him a life jacket when he arrived.
Rumors that the control room is flooded are unfounded and if this plant is similar to any of the three that I worked on, the control room is several stories above ground floor. Although this situation is not comparable to Fukushima Daiichi where fifteen metric tons of radioactive waste have leaked out from a storage tank, a nuclear plant which has been flooded for three weeks and has water leaking into the facility does not inspire any confidence in the plant’s operations or the NRC.
The video below is from June 27th, 2011 and shows this situation only getting worse.
Since this flooding will continue through August, I have to wonder why no plans have been released to erect permanent levees and start pumping water out.
When safety regulators arrive for a tour of a nuclear plant, the operators usually give the visitors a helmet, safety glasses and earplugs. When Gregory B. Jaczko, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, got to the Fort Calhoun plant on Monday morning, the Omaha Public Power District offered him a life jacket.
Technically, what the plant is undergoing is not a flood but a “water event,” as the regulatory commission classifies it. But Fort Calhoun has clearly been outflanked by the Missouri River, first at its front door and now at its back door as well. The only access route to the plant is over a sinuous path of catwalks built over the submerged parking lot and walkways in recent weeks.