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Flooding expected to cause shutdown of Cooper Nuclear Plant

(KLZA)-- The Nebraska Public Power District's Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville declared a “Notification of Unusual Event” about 5:45 Friday morning. 

NPPD spokesman Mark Becker explained once the Missouri River reaches 42.5 feet at Brownville, the unusual event notification is issued. 

Based on Missouri River projections, it appears imminent the nuclear power plant will need to be shut down late Friday night or early Saturday morning. 

Despite record flood levels predicted for Brownville, Becker is confident the plant will not be damaged.  The Cooper plant is built above grade and the levy on the Missouri side of the river is lower than on the Nebraska side.  

The Missouri River level is expected to remain above the level to keep the plant in mandatory shutdown for at least a week.  Once the river level drops below that level, it is a lengthy process to restart the plant and get back into the electric grid. 

Employees will remain on site during the shutdown period and there is no danger to the public. The only concerns are access to the plant with the north road to the plant underwater and the south entrance being a gravel road for a portion of the distance.

The Cooper Nuclear Station is located three miles southeast of  Brownville.  

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