Caption: Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said it is returning the 500-MW Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska to the commission’s regular oversight program.
The plant first shut down in April 2011 for a refueling and maintenance outage, but the nearby Missouri River flooded the plant site, which extended the shut down. An electrical fire and performance issues led to the NRC increasing oversight of Fort Calhoun and keeping it offline for two years. NRC approved the restart of the single-unit plant in December 2013, but it remained under increased NRC oversight while plant operator Omaha Public Power District had to follow an 18-item checklist from the NRC to prove its readiness to restart. OPPD also contracted with Exelon Generation (NYSE: EXC) to manage the plant during the increased oversight period.
“Throughout the period when we were in increased oversight, our people changed, our oversight strengthened and our processes improved greatly,” said OPPD President and CEO W. Gary Gates, who announced he will retire in May. “We will continue our efforts to improve because our customers want it and because we know we have laid the foundation for sustained excellence.”
NRC said that since December 2011, it has conducted approximately 60,000 hours of inspection, assessment and licensing activities. The NRC has reviewed and closed seven of the ten improvement areas in the post-restart confirmatory action letter. The remaining open items include long-term actions.
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