Fort Calhoun Station now reenergizing - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Fort Calhoun Station now reenergizing

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Posted By:  KLKN Newsroom

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given the Omaha Public Power District the green light start the Fort Calhoun Station reactor.   OPPD says after more than two and a half years of hard work, sacrifice and support from all areas of the company, OPPD has taken all the steps to be able to
restart Fort Calhoun Station (FCS).

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission formally notified OPPD by letter Tuesday that the station can be reenergized.

OPPD officials say operators at the plant will slowly and deliberately work the process of taking the reactor critical and using the steam generated to turn the power turbine for the first time in 32 months.

The process will have a number of stops along the way to check progress. The entire effort can take five to six days to reach 100 percent power.

OPPD says from the day in 2011 when they first learned that the Missouri River would flood the site, workers from across the company have helped in the recovery.  Many gave up vacations to sandbag there and around the district to protect  the plant and property.

Others relocated to the plant to help in the sizeable changes needed to fulfill the restart checklist. And still more had to operate with fewer resources to help keep the plant and its nearly 500 megawatts of carbon-free baseload electricity in OPPD's fuel mix.

"My thanks to everyone at Fort Calhoun Station who has put in long hours over many months to bring this about," said President and CEO Gary Gates. "I also thank everyone companywide who supported the safe restart of the plant. All of you have made sacrifices to help make this happen."

During the course of the recovery, workers spent more than 8 million person-hours, completing more than 69,000 tasks.

Like most nuclear plants, FCS is designed to operate for approximately 18 months before it needs to shut down again to replace fuel that has spent its energy in creating electricity.

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