OPPD Says Fort Calhoun Station Rumors Untrue

Ray and Sharon Perrigo want granddaughter, Peyton Venneman, to remember the facts of the Flood of 2011.

"There's just been so many rumors flying around about this flood thing about what's going to happen and its all "if" or this "could,"' Ray Perrigo said.

Some of those rumors swirl around the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant a few miles upstream.

Sharon Perrigo's brother works there.

"They shuttle them in and out because they can't drive in anymore. but I never heard that anything was wrong up there," she said.

But an internet site claims there are serious problems, saying flood waters are endangering the plant and a 'no fly zone' was installed to cover up a radiation leak.

The plant's chief nuclear officer, Dave Bannister, said none of that is true.

"There is no release of radiation from the site," Bannister said. "The plant is safe, will continue to be safe and we will do the things necessary to keep it in a safe condition."

Bannister said hardened barriers and plates, sandbagging, and an aqua dam are protecting the plant.

He said he installed the 'no fly zone' when he saw four low flying planes over the plant.

"I can ill afford at a time when I've got already a natural disaster going on to have an aircraft crash on site that could potentially affect one of my power sources," he said.

A lack of on-site power was one problem confronting Japan's Fuku Shima plant that was damaged by a tsunami.

OPPD President and CEO Gary Gates said lines powering the Fort Calhoun plant are secure.

"That single piece of the Fuku Shima event...losing power...really is what made the event to the level it is today," he said. "So I can assure all of you, Fuku Shima level will not occur at the Fort Calhoun station."

The Perrigo's believe that's true.

"When the place was constructed it was made for a five hundred year flood," Ray Perrigo said. "What are they calling this one a hundred year flood? So I guess we're safe by four hundred years."

Bannister said for the plant to get to a disaster level, floodwater would have to rise three and a half feet above where it stands now.

The layers of levees protecting the plant would have to be breached and damage to the reactor would have to occur.

He said all of this is highly unlikely since the disaster we're dealing with is a flow rising flood.

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