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Jun-26-2011 22:45printcomments

NRC Website Defines Media Blackout Over Nebraska Nuclear Plant Flooding

Americans are getting more information about the drowning nuclear plant from civilians on YouTube than government agencies or media.

The NRC hard at work.
The NRC hard at work.

(SALEM, Ore.) - As the U.S. populace idles along in relative ignorance over the looming nuclear disaster in Nebraska, we turn our attention, quite naturally, to the agency in this nation that monitors and regulates these deadly energy sources, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC.

Of course we count on agencies like this to ensure that people are safe and aware of potential developments, like the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Facility that has for some time now, been surrounded by the waters of the overflowing Missouri River.

The river is significantly above safe levels and has been for some time now. The nuclear plant was closed in April.

The agency has talked about it, and in fact the NRC's director was at the plant today and NRC crews have been on the scene since yesterday.

The facility was built in a location known as the Missouri River flood plane.

Granted, the recent nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Facility in Japan where water invaded the reactor areas, hadn't happened yet, but many still question the wisdom of the Nebraska location, in the most basic sense.

It is staggering to consider the lack of human safety this plant by the river logic might ultimately lead to. Or, to think of what background must exist that allowed this location called Ft. Calhoun to contain a nuclear operation in the first place.

I know red states are mostly behind nuclear power, but I suspect they may reconsider their feelings after this.

So back to the NRC; I thought I'd go to their site to see what the 'official' update is, since our information on Nebraska is coming through channels in Paris, Moscow, and through our Writer John McCarthy who has been watching these developments from Vienna, Austria, where the The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safety Conference just concluded.

But the NRC doesn't seem to know about Nebraska. It has several rotating images with stories about many seemingly less important stories, but no mention of Nebraska.

Perhaps one could begin searching and locate information, I included the full size print from their site below and of course you can visit the site. Just be aware of the lack of response or awareness that this U.S. agency is displaying.

Of course I say this in jest, but sadly, this reported informational blackout that keeps coming up, seems to be patently true if the very agency that regulates nuclear safety doesn't mention it.

They mention Japan, boy do they mention Japan.

This is interesting because many people living there, including our Writer Maidhc 'O Cathail in Osaka, say life in their cities some distance from the coast, never did change over the tsunami and related nuclear disaster.

I thought I'd snap a picture of the NRC Website for posterity's sake, just to document how completely asleep at the wheel they must me.

Perhaps they could not even define the word transparency.

Today the nuclear lobby is powerful and it is doubtless that the agency has been infiltrated by nuke friendly types who ensure that the reactors keep reacting and the money keeps flowing, like the Missouri River.

Below is a full size print of the NRC Website from today, 26 June 2011.


Tim King: Editor and Writer

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

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Quintin June 27, 2011 8:48 am (Pacific time)

Funny... I haven't had ANY problems keeping up with what is going on with either the Ft Calhoun plant or the Brownville plant that is down the river. Lots of updates on Omaha.Com. Here is today's story

Dee June 27, 2011 5:26 am (Pacific time)

Here's a link to the "blog" that the NRC created to discuss the events in Nebraska. If you scroll down there are a couple of them. I hear they don't make posts on the weekend, but hopefully the will today.

Thanks Dee, we sure wouldn't want one of the nation's most important agencies to have to make their Web people pull weekend duty, good call!

COLLI June 27, 2011 5:21 am (Pacific time)

Has anyone beside me noticed how any information that might be counter to the desires of the current administration or Congress gets squelched, bastardized, minimized, or just rationalized? This informational maneuvering should be screaming a warning at us. It should be saying that government wants total control over our lives and health. Such coverups of health risk factors should be a criminal offense.

COLLI June 27, 2011 5:13 am (Pacific time)

While it is understandable that everyone wants lower cost energy, being willing to overlook serious safety issues is totally unacceptable. The continued licensing of these plants with high-risk locations, underground piping that leaks or antiquated intake and discharge structures is more than malfeasance, it is criminal. It constitutes knowingly putting the public at risk and poisoning future generations. A double-checking mechanism is needed . . . one under governmental jurisdiction and one independent. Any coercion of either of these separate entities should be punishable by mandatory prison time regardless of who is coercing! If either of these entities fails to give a nuclear power plant anything less than a 100% passing grade, licensing should be withheld. The potential price to be paid is far too great to settle for anything less.

Kiki June 27, 2011 5:03 am (Pacific time)

Nice article. Of course, you omit just about every relevant fact about this issue. How is there an NRC blackout when the NRC Chairman just toured the plant and then answered questions. Blackout? Read the Times, The Journal or Reuters, pro. As for the snarky comment about Nebraska / Red State poor judgement, I would ask if you generalize/stereotype everything and everyone. Not so tolerant I suspect. Well, you are a former jarhead. Oh, and lastly, Nebraskans are not only better educated than Oregonians, bit we also have no state debt. Yep that's right, no debt. Keep up the good work, and consider a journalism class.

Tim King: Hey KiKi, a little NRC cleanup crew action eh?  Does it pay well?  There was a pathetic amount of coverage and you know it.  Blah blah.  You don't understand that it is shocking for an American to consider a nuclear issue of this level in their country and not a single reference to it on the Website?  Not even the little links?  Of course I know about the NRC director being there, if you were paying attention you would know we've been staying on top of it well before that was even announced.  Anyway I think you are a shill and comparing a state's intelligence level to another state's?  Come on, what a stretch!

gp June 26, 2011 11:20 pm (Pacific time)

Marc, a Brit at leakspinners has been doing great coverage of this and the Fukushima horror since March 11. Here is his video on the same subject and more.

 Editor: Thanks for letting us know!

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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