A 2,000 foot berm collapsed on Sunday that was protecting a nuclear power plant from the flooding Missouri River a matter of yards from the Iowa border. The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Generating Station in the eastern Nebraska town of Fort Calhoun is now surrounded by water and several buildings were inundated.
Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, says the water isn’t expected to rise any higher than the plant can handle. Jaczko says, “You can see from the site, they have the ability to deal with a higher water level than the river is currently at so we will continue to monitor.”
He and several other NRC officials toured Nebraska’s other nuclear plant at Brownville on Sunday and they’re visiting Fort Calhoun today, about 20 miles north of Omaha. Jaczko says plant officials are doing everything correctly in protecting the nuclear facilities.
“Right now, they appear to be taking proactive steps to do that,” he says. “We will continue to watch with them as the water level continue to progress.” Inspections of the plants’ flood prevention methods were conducted earlier and Jaczko says everything was done according to the book.
“They’ve put in place systems to deal with high water levels and our folks have inspected those and right now, we think they’re taking the appropriate approach to doing it,” he says. The flooding is expected to be an issue for several months as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing a large amount of water from upstream reservoirs into the Missouri River due to heavy spring rains and melting snowpack.