Thursday, December 31, 2015

Flooding on Mississippi River: Are Nuclear Power Plants Endangered?


The flooding in the US Midwest caught my attention this morning because of its scale and the number of fatalities. For example, see here for discussion of record flooding here: http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/29/us/severe-weather-us/

After reading about the flooding I wondered whether nuclear plants located on the Mississippi river might be at risk given the National Weather Forecast is predicting still MORE flooding:
National Weather Forecast for December 31, 2015
http://forecast.weather.gov/showsigwx.php?warnzone=MOZ050&warncounty=MOC027&firewxzone=MOZ050&local_place1=Fulton%20MO&product1=Hazardous+Weather+Outlook&lat=38.86&lon=-91.96#.VoVSWFLw82Y
Hazardous Weather OutlookHAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ST LOUIS MO
DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY MAJOR RIVER FLOODING WILL CONTINUE ALONG PORTIONS OF THE MISSOURI...MISSISSIPPI...ILLINOIS...MERAMEC AND KASKASKIA RIVERS THROUGH EARLY NEXT WEEK.
There are a number of nuclear power plants located in the floodwater area of the Mississippi River. Here is a map from NIRS dated April 2001 https://www.nirs.org/factsheets/mississippiriverpam.pdf:



Located close to the Mississippi is the Callaway Nuclear Power Plant, #12:
Callaway Nuclear Generating Station, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callaway_Nuclear_Generating_Station
The Callaway Plant is a nuclear power plant located on a 5,228-acre (2,116 ha)site in Callaway County, Missouri, near Fulton, Missouri. It began operating on December 19, 1984. The plant, which is the state's only commercial nuclear unit, has one 1,190-megawatt Westinghouse four-loop pressurized water reactor and a General Electric turbine-generator. It is owned by the Ameren Corporation and operated by subsidiary Ameren Missouri.

This plant has experienced at least two emergency shutdowns in 2015:
Missouri nuclear plant shut down 2nd time in 8 months, KCCI, July 23, 2015, http://www.kcci.com/news/missouri-nuclear-plant-shut-down-2nd-time-in-8-months/34317374
ST. LOUIS —The Ameren Corp. nuclear power plant in central Missouri is shut down for the second time in eight months after a "non-emergency" leak in the reaction control system.
Contaminated water at the site was sampled in 2014:
Callaway Nuclear Plant well water samples have radioactivity, August 5, 2014 http://www.connectmidmissouri.com/news/story.aspx?id=1079567

Flooding is not good for nuclear power plants, as described by the Union of Concerned Scientists:
Flood Risk at Nuclear Power Plants, Union of Concerned Scientists, http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-power/nuclear-power-accidents/flood-risk-at-nuclear-power-plants#.VoVXmFLw82Y
Flooding can damage equipment or knock out the plant's electrical systems, disabling its cooling mechanisms. This is what happened at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in Japan as a result of the March 2011 tsunami, causing severe damage to several of the plant's reactors.

I'm not able to find any notifications or news concerning the status of nuclear power plants impacted by epic flooding in the Midwest. I hope the situation is under control and not a function of a total news blackout.
 

4 comments:

  1. Not a peep , we are trying to get reports now 1/1/2016

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  2. Callaway recently installed a below ground nuclear waste spent fuel storage (Holtec UMAX). It has air vents in each lid. There are no drains. If they fill with water, the technical specifications say the plan is for employees to use hoses to pump the water out. All above ground nuclear spent fuel storage systems have drains. The UMAX is an unproven system. Only one other below ground system exists. It has no air vents, but still had water problems. This Humboldt Bay system was also made by Holtec, but is a different design. SanOnofreSafety.org

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    Replies
    1. VERY interesting information. Thank you!

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  3. Pour éviter la mort des milliers d'américains du nord et du sud par ces punitions d' ALLAH les inondations les tornades les foudres les ouragans les séismes plus 7 volcan tsunami feu de forêt neige cataclysmique engloutissement grondement les boules de feu les météorites astéroïde aux américains du nord et du sud de se convertir a l'islam aujourd'hui si la fin du monde pour éviter l'enfer merci.

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