Sandbags added to levee that protects Nebraska nuke plant

BROWNVILLE, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska utility is adding sandbags to the levee that protects its nuclear power plant along the swollen Missouri River.

Nebraska Public Power District spokesman Mark Becker told the Omaha World-Herald on Thursday that if the river hits the level of 45.5 feet (13.9 meters) projected by the National Weather Services this weekend, the plant would have to be shut down.

At 43.5 feet (13.3 meters) workers will start barricading internal doorways and take other precautions. During the historic summer flooding in 2011, Cooper sandbagged and barricaded the doorways but kept functioning.

Becker says the district will get power through its own facilities or through a power-sharing network if Cooper's power generation must halt.

The plant sits near Brownville about 59 miles (95.5 kilometers) south of Omaha.