OPPD Hires Texas Company Exelon To Restart Fort Calhoun
OPPD hopes to restart nuclear reactors by December 1, 2012.
OPPD hopes to restart nuclear reactors by December 1, 2012. Video by kmtv.comvideo
Fort Calhoun, NE -- OPPD is calling in the big guns, to get Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant back online.
After admitting OPPD dropped the ball as caretaker of a nuclear plant, they are now bringing in a Texas firm. That company is Exelon and they are the nations largest operator of nuclear power plants. They may just be the answer OPPD is looking for to restart Fort Calhoun.
After several failed attempts to get Fort Calhoun in good graces with the Nuclear Reglatory Commission, OPPD plans to hire Texas firm Exelon to get back online. KMTV Action 3's Liz Dorland sat down with OPPD Board Member John Green on Friday. "Is Exelon the only way that Fort Calhoun would be able to reopen," questioned Dorland.
John Green responded, "I couldn't say for sure, but I was starting to get the feeling listening to the and reading the tea leaves from the regulatory agencies that this direction is what they wanted us to move to."
Exelon workers have been at Fort Calhoun since January. Teams of experts have been working to discover exactly how much of the nuclear facility needs work. It's been off-line since last April, when it closed for refueling. Since then it's been plagued by a breaker fire, performance issues, and had to battle massive Missouri River flooding. The list of repairs to Fort Calhoun is long.
OPPD Spokesperson Jeff Hanson explained, "Right now we are focused on reheating or heating up the plant and getting it ready for a restart on December first."
The hope is for NRC inspectors to give Fort Calhoun a passing inspection by the first part of next year. A NRC spokesperson said it's not uncommon for local power suppliers to hire large outside companies to run nuclear facilities and reports it's worked well at other sites.
Green added, "This was the one way we could go that we could to insure the long term use safety of reliability and safety of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station."
Currently, Fort Calhoun is on an oversight list with the NRC. A spokesperson said just because Exelon is taking over doesn't mean they'll easily move off the list.
What exactly does this mean for your power bill? Green said having a new company could mean higher rates, but that remains to be seen.
OPPD hopes to seal the deal with Exelon sometime next week.
Reported By: Liz Dorland, email@example.com