Yup. This is one to keep the eye on.
FAA Closes Airspace Over Flooded Nebraska Nuclear Power Plant. (by N0LINKNEWS)
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Uploaded by N0LINKNEWS on Jun 15, 2011
A fire in Nebraska’s Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant briefly knocked out the cooling process for spent nuclear fuel rods, ProPublica reports. The fire occurred on June 7th.
On June 6th, the Federal Administration Aviation (FAA) issued a directive banning aircraft from entering the airspace within a two-mile radius of the plant.
“No pilots may operate an aircraft in the areas covered by this NOTAM,” referring to the “notice to airmen,” effective immediately.
The plant is reportedly at a stage 4 level of emergency, though the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), which owns and operates the plant, denies this.
“This terminology is not accurate, and is not how emergencies at nuclear power plants are classified,” the OPPD says on a website created to counter rumors about the security of the Fort Calhoun plant.
The OPPD claims the FAA closed airspace over the plant because of the Missouri River flooding. But the FAA ban specifically lists the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant as the location for the flight ban.
The plant is adjacent to the now-flooding river, about 20 minutes outside downtown Omaha, and has been closed since April for refueling.
WOWT, the local NBC affiliate, reports on its website:
“The Ft. Calhoun Nuclear Facility is an island right now but it is one that authorities say is going to stay dry. They say they have a number of redundant features to protect the facility from flood waters that include the aqua dam, earthen berms and sandbags.”