The Cooper Nuclear Station, owned and operated by the Nebraska Public Power District, is located just south of Brownville, Nebraska on the Missouri River. The Brownville Recreational area, the Indian Cave State Park, and Steamboat Trace Trail are within the 10 mile EPZ (emergency planning zone).
The plume emergency planning zone (EPZ) is a ten-mile radius around the plant and is shared by the states of Missouri and Nebraska. Nebraska counties falling within the plume EPZ are Nemaha and Richardson counties. The ingestion EPZ is a 50-mile radius around the plant. Nebraska counties falling within the ingestion EPZ are Cass, Gage, Johnson, Lancaster, Nemaha, Pawnee, Otoe, Richardson, and Sarpy counties.
The population within the plume EPZ is 4,013 (1800 residents, 2,213 College Students, transients, and non-resident employees) people on the Nebraska side. In the event of an evacuation of the area, those needing shelter would go to either the Falls City High School at 1400 Fulton Street in Falls City or the Nebraska City Middle School at 1st Corso and 9th Street in Nebraska City. A map of evacuation routes may be found in the Emergency Planning Brochure located inside the Cooper Nuclear Station yearly calendar (or as a link from this website). The American Red Cross provides support for evacuees in shelters in both Falls City and Nebraska City. The priority for decision-makers is to evacuate the area before a release from the plant.
Should an emergency occur at the Cooper Nuclear Station, sirens will sound a steady tone for three to five minutes which will alert residents in the EPZ to turn on their radio or television set for information. Rural residents may also be alerted when their Emergency Alert Radio (EAS) tone-activated radio automatically turns on.
There are four levels of emergencies (called "emergency classification levels or "ECLs") covered by the emergency plans at nuclear power plants, local and state government agencies. Each level requires specific actions to be taken by the plant operator and off-site officials. These levels, in order of increasing severity, are:
It should be noted here that when a nuclear power plant declares an emergency, the emergency does not necessarily begin at a NOUE and escalate to a GE. The emergency could begin with any of the four classification levels (ECL) listed above.
Schools are notified at the ALERT phase and evacuate according to their school district's plan.
Sirens are sounded at the SITE AREA EMERGENCY phase and the Emergency Alert System (EAS) is activated from the National Weather Service Office, Valley, Nebraska. Radio Station KFAB 1110 AM in Omaha, Nebraska is the primary source for information from local and state authorities.
Questions may be directed to your local County Emergency Management Director (Nemaha, Otoe, and Richardson Counties) or contact NEMA at (402) 471-1186.
or by writing to the: Cooper REP Planning Specialist at the address listed below.