It is going to cost a pretty penny to get the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station back to full service. So to ease the financial pain, the OPPD Board of Directors has approved a plan to spread out the cost over a period of 10 years.
The plant is currently under the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Reactor Oversight Process Action Matrix.
The plant has been offline since April 2011. Initially, it went offline for routine maintenance. The spring and summer Missouri River flooding last year surrounded the facility with water, so it remained offline.
The NRC also became critical of operations at the plant. During the extended flood, a fire broke out in the cooling system used for fuel. While the NRC says temperatures never exceeded safe levels, regulators were concerned because the fire could have happened at any time and workers did not fully investigate an unusual smell in the area three days earlier.
OPPD says recovery operations and maintenance costs are projected to be about $113 million this year and $30 million in 2013. OPPD is projecting to spend $21 million this year, which is to ensure the plant will continue to operate safely once it is up and running.
The goal is to “heat up” the plant by December 1st. By doing that, the reactor vessel would be closed, but there would be no nuclear reaction until the NRC gives the okay.