River falls short of Nebraska nuke plant shutdown

June 20, 2011 - 8:41 AM
Missouri River Flooding

Missouri National Guard soldiers, Staff Sergeant Kevin Ackley, left and Staff Sergeant Allen Godsey look at floodwaters from the Missouri river overtop a levy near Brownville, Neb., Sunday, June, 19, 2011. When the Missouri River reached 42.5 feet, or 899 feet above sea level Sunday morning, the Nebraska Public Power District issued a flooding alert for its nuclear power plant, Cooper Nuclear Station. Cooper, located near Brownville, is at 903 feet elevation, and NPPD officials said the river would have to climb to 902 feet at Brownville before officials would shut down the plant. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Missouri River rose to within 18 inches of forcing the shutdown of a nuclear power plant in southeast Nebraska, but stopped and ebbed slightly.

The river has to hit 902 feet above sea level at Brownville before officials will shut down the Cooper Nuclear Plant.

Nebraska Public Power District spokesman Mark Becker says the river rose to 900.56 feet on Sunday, then dropped to 900.4 feet later in the day and remained at that level Monday morning.

Becker says the plant is operating at full capacity.

The Columbus-based utility sent a "notification of unusual event" to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission when the river rose to 899 feet Sunday. The declaration is the least serious of four emergency notifications established by the federal commission.

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Online:

NPPD's flood page: http://www.nppd.com/flood/