Tuesday, June 28, 2011

US nuclear plant hit by floodwater

The Fort Calhoun nuclear power station surrounded by water

Source: Press TV

Floodwater from Missouri River has breached a berm at the Nebraska nuclear power, Fort Calhoun, allowing water to reach containment buildings and transformers.

The plant's officials were forced to shut down electrical power when water surrounded the main electrical transformers, but the flooding had no impact on reactor shutdown cooling or the spent fuel pool cooling, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said on Sunday.

The NRC added that the Fort Calhoun Station shut down in early April for refueling, and there is no water inside the plant, Huffington Post reported.

Head of NRC Gregory Jaczko visited the Fort Calhoun plant on Monday.

In a similar incident in Japan, Fukushima power plant was damaged when a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the country's northeastern coasts on March 11.

As a result of the flooding, partial meltdowns occurred at the nuclear power plant when the cooling systems for three reactors failed.

Thousands of Japanese people living within a 20-kilometer radius of the plant were evacuated and the government has declared a state of nuclear emergency for the five reactors.

The Japanese government initially attempted to play down the incident by not releasing accurate radiation data.

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