Nebraska: Second Nuclear Plant Declares ‘Notification of Unusual Event’

Declaration at Cooper Nuclear Station (June 19, 2011):

As the Missouri River rises, the Nebraska Public Power District has declared a “Notification of Unusual Event” for the Cooper Nuclear Station. The notification was made at 4:02am Sunday. It is part of the safety and emergency preparedness plan that the station follows when certain flooding conditions are present.

NPPD says there is no threat to plant employees or the general public. The plant continues to operate safely. The Omaha Public Power District made the same declaration nearly two weeks ago when the Missouri River continued to rise near the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station.

NPPD says its plans dictate that when the Missouri River’s water level reaches 42.5 feet, or greater than 899 feet above sea level, the notification of an unusual event is declared. If the river’s level increases to 900 feet above sea level, plant personnel will barricade internal doorways as another layer of protection for facility equipment. At 902 feet, the plant would be taken offline as a protective safety measure.

A Notification of Unusual Event is the lowest and least serious of four emergency classifications established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for nuclear power plants.

The Cooper Nuclear Station is three miles southeast of Brownville, Nebraska along the Missouri River.

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