OPPD to spread O&M costs of nuclear power plant over 10 years

The Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Board of Directors has approved a plan that would allow OPPD to amortize over the next 10 years the operations and maintenance (O&M) costs associated with returning the 500 MW Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant to full service.

Recovery costs are projected to be $113 million for 2012 and $30 million for 2013, with 2012 capital expected to be $21 million. The costs include O&M expenses for the planning, execution and monitoring of restart and recovery activities that began in 2012 until the plant exits Column 4 of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Reactor Oversight Process Action Matrix.

"The performance and operational benefits of the expenditures extend far beyond restart which is one of the reasons we can amortize these expenses over 10 years," said Edward Easterlin, OPPD Chief Financial Officer.

Fort Calhoun Station has been offline since April 2011. OPPD hired Exelon (NYSE: EXC) in August to manage plant operations for the duration of the plant’s operating license.

The current goal is for Fort Calhoun to "heat up" by December 1, which means closing the reactor vessel but no nuclear reaction.

The board also approved the appointment of Louis Cortopassi to the position of Chief Nuclear Officer for Fort Calhoun in addition to his position as Site Vice President. Cortopassi has served as Site Vice President since August 27 under the operating services agreement between OPPD and Exelon.

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