This Nebraska Nuclear Power Plant Is Surrounded by Floodwaters

Illustration for article titled This Nebraska Nuclear Power Plant Is Surrounded by Floodwaters

The good news: Nebraska's Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station is staying dry despite being surrounded by tremendous Midwestern flooding. The bad news: Nebraska's Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station is surrounded by tremendous Midwestern flooding, and a history of safety mistakes.

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Also unsettling, as Boing Boing's Maggie Koerth-Baker points out, is the fact that all our information on the plant's condition is coming from the plant's owner. Very, very recent history should remind us of why that's a terrible idea. Luckily, the plant's core has been cold since April, the facility is stocked with spare fuel, and the flood wall is holding thanks to mandatory upgrades due to aforementioned safety mistakes. But if water levels raise, things could go from dicey to disastrous—the same way water leakage blew the roof off of Fukushima. [Boing Boing, Photo: AP/Nati Harnik]

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DISCUSSION

RedEyeNinja
RedEyeNinja

I'm no nuclear engineer or... safety supervisor...

but...

How about we don't build nuclear power plants on flood plains or near large bodies of water?

How about we build them underground and away from the water table?

There are other types of nuclear reactors/generators that DO NOT require water cooling...and in the event of a meltdown, they'll either self-terminate or can be sunk into a hole that's already a concrete lined "sarcophagus".

I'm referring to the Rubbia reactor designs (cooled by liquid metal/lead) and recent Chinese small scale nuclear generator prototypes that incorporate a safety hole to dump the core.