The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station shown above is currently shut down for refueling. Makeshift levees and a broken water berm have now led to water leaking into the plant. Since the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had cited this plant in June, 2010 for not having “adequate procedures to protect the intake structure and auxiliary building against external flooding events”, why did it take three weeks for NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko (Obama appointee, May, 2009) to inspect the Fort Calhoun plant today (June 27th) since initial flooding started?
The following excerpt reports the finding by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the facility failed to maintain procedures against external flooding:
As a result of a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) inspection conducted from January 1 to June 21, 2010, the NRC determined that Fort Calhoun Station (FCS) did not have adequate procedures to protect the intake structure and auxiliary building against external flooding events. Specifically, contrary to Technical Specification 5.8.1.a, the station failed to maintain procedures for combating a significant flood as recommended by Regulatory Guide 1.33, Appendix A, section 6.w, “Acts of Nature.”
As reported earlier, the idea of a makeshift levee surrounding a nuclear power plant that has been found to be out of compliance by the NRC for precautions concerning external flooding requirements is something straight out of a bad B movie plot. The addition of a water filled inner tube (aqua berm) against flooding conditions expected to persist through August shows another level of government’s regulatory incompetance even if it had not collapsed.
Where is the report from the NRC stating that this plant was in compliance with Regulatory Guide 1.33? What is the point of the NRC if over one year later, a power plant has not responded to their report and corrected the conditions?
Who is responsible for this situation and when is a more viable solution going to be implemented?
- Omaha Public Power is responsible for not having a waterproof facility even prior to the NRC report. Not responding and correcting this situation after one year should be cause for a Congressional investigation.
- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is responsible for their lack of action here and at the Cooper Nuclear Station.
- The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for their failure to manage the flooding of the Missouri river at all six dams. A Congressional investigation of their actions in the Missouri River Basin (including Minot, ND) should already be underway.
- The media for not covering this disaster as it unfolded. When are the no fly zone restrictions over Ft. Calhoun Nuclear Plant, Cooper Nuclear Station and Minot, ND to be lifted so that we can see the extent of the flooding?