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If the Missouri river rises 18 more inches, officials at Nebraska's Cooper Nuclear Plant will be forced to shutdown the utility, the Associated Press reported. The plant's operators are monitoring the situation at the heavily flooded area and  prepared for the flooding by using 5,000 tons of sand to construct barricades around the facility. Still, when the river rose to 899 and then 900 feet over the weekend (two feet shy of the 902 that operators say will lead to an immediate shutdown) the facility sent out a "least serious" emergency notification called a "Notification of Unusual Event" to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The reactor of the plant has already been shut down for refueling and the NRC's spokesperson has told the AP that operators have "done everything that they need to do to respond to the current conditions." That would seem to assuage more hysterical concerns over the weekend that something was amiss because of the "Unusual Event" alert.

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