As flooding conditions along the Missouri River transition, Nebraska Public Power District has implemented contingency plans at the state’s largest, single unit power plant, Cooper Nuclear Station, near Brownville.
NPPD’s personnel working at Cooper Nuclear Station are closely monitoring the river’s increasing levels and water flows. As of Thursday morning, the river’s elevation was around 895.4 feet above sea level. Because the primary access road leading to the nuclear power plant is closed, employees are accessing the plant from the south out of Nemaha.
In addition, plant personnel are filling sand bags, constructing barricades, addressing the site’s flood procedures and maintenance schedule, and have called vendors in the area to ensure that the station is prepared for higher flood elevations. Additional diesel fuel is also on-site in the unlikely event that any of the plant’s three diesel generators need to operate.
The Army Corps of Engineers advises it will slowly increase the flows from Gavin’s Point Dam until the release rates are approximately 150,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). The Corps also anticipates the river to crest at CNS at the 899.5 elevation on or about June 17.
In 2010, the Missouri River flooded this same area, reaching a peak of 899.4 feet. NPPD declared a Notice of Unusual Event on June 22 of last year when the water exceeded 899 feet. The utility will follow the same procedure this year, if the water level passes the 899-foot level.
“We are ready to initiate our emergency preparedness plan, if necessary,” said NPPD President and CEO Pat Pope. “We are in daily contact with the Corps and are following our flood procedures.”