Public Hearing on OPPD Nuclear Power Plant
Wednesday, March 27th
Doubletree Hotel 16th and Dodge
Two presentations, Q & A Session
Omaha Public Power District invited member of the media into its Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant on Tuesday to get a first hand look at upgrades and improvements since the 2011 flood.
Security is high on the grounds of the plant. Some areas were off limits to media cameras. But in 2011, during the Missouri River flood, water became the intruder.
Crews were able to keep the water away from vital parts of the operation. But safety officers say, with lessons learned, some emergency procedures have changed.
Inside the plant itself, a lot of work is going on to prepare the reactor core and generators to once again produce power.
A 4,160 volt electrical breaker has also been repaired, and many other electrical components have been upgraded. The breaker feeds many vital operating systems in the plant such as pumps and ventilation fans.
“We made sure that the design was correct,” said tour guide and project manager for OPPD, Tim Pilmaier. “And we made sure that we followed our process to replace it so that it will operate safely and efficiently.”
Training procedures in the operations control simulator have also changed some since the 2011 flood. The simulator is an exact replica of the real control room in the plant. Emergency scenarios in the simulator help plant operators be ready for the real thing.
“When they do go to the plant, they've seen the procedures,” said Shannon Shea, training supervisor for licensed operators. “They've seen the processes. It's not foreign to them. They understand where the procedure will take them. They understand what the procedure is doing for them.”
OPPD hopes to have the plant up and running some time this summer. But the final say will be up to the Nuclear Regulator Commission.