The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Monday launched a series of inspections at the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant to examine the plant’s restart checklist and evaluate a recent cooling water pump issue. The plant, operated by the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), is located 19 miles north of Omaha, Neb. and has been closed since the April 2011 Missouri River floods.
NRC inspectors will evaluate a condition, reported on Dec. 2, 2012, involving four main water pumps incorrectly anchored using shorter bolts than required. The pumps, referred to by the operator as raw water pumps, provide the main cooling water from the Missouri River to the plant. Shorter bolts may have caused the pumps to be inoperable following extreme ground motion during an earthquake.
Other NRC inspectors and headquarters personnel are reviewing various items from the restart checklist that include flooding, fire, and an ongoing safety culture evaluation.
About 450 items need to be inspected for adequacy prior to any restart authorization decision under the NRC restart basis document.
“As we continue our work to oversee OPPD’s corrective actions to address the restart checklist, additional NRC inspectors are on site to ensure that the plant operator has taken the appropriate steps to replace the pump bolts,” said Region IV Administrator Elmo E. Collins.
The NRC inspectors will write a publicly available inspection report on their findings within 45 days of the end of the inspection.