Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant OK to restart

CALHOUN NUCLEAR PLANT

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has given the green light for the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant to restart more than two years after it was shut down.

The NRC said it thoroughly reviewed all of the actions that plant owner Omaha Public Power District (OOPD) had to follow before the plant could restart. The NRC reached the approval after more than 23,000 hours of inspections and detailed evaluations. When the plant starts up, the NRC will have inspectors providing round the clock coverage observing restart activities.

The plant was first shut down in April 2011 for a refueling and maintenance outage. During the outage, the plant was inundated with flooding from the nearby Missouri River and remained offline due to a series of safety violations and a small fire that followed. OPPD was required to follow an 18-item checklist from the NRC to prove its readiness to restart. In October, Fort Calhoun was heated up to test systems that are only used when the plant is running. OPPD submitted a report to the NRC earlier this month saying it had completed the steps and the plant was ready to restart.

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