Omaha Public Radio News
12:44 pm
Fri June 24, 2011

NPPD officials say Cooper Nuclear Station is safe

Omaha, NE – A spokesman for the Nebraska Public Power District says Brownville's Cooper Nuclear Station is operating at full power and is safe.

A levee breached three miles north of Brownville late Thursday evening. NPPD spokesman Mark Becker says the Missouri River level at Brownville dropped a foot after the breach in Atchison County, Missouri.

Becker says sandbags and protective barriers are protecting the nuclear plant, and Cooper is dry. "We've sandbagged or put up protective barriers around our switch yards, which provide electricity that does come in to the plant that we would use for safety systems. If we would lose our offsite power, we do have emergency diesel generators and we've brought in additional fuel to the site to run those diesel generators. They would run all the safety systems and cooling systems at the plant."

He says residents shouldn't be concerned about the safety of the nuclear plant. "We have very highly trained operators in the plant whose job is to protect the public health and safety from the operations at the plant. And these employees, they also live in the community as well. So I think they're always looking at the safety aspect of the plant."

The Missouri River is at 43 feet at Brownville. The National Weather Service says by Wednesday, it'll be at 44 feet.