Omaha Public Power District is handing over management of Fort Calhoun Station's nuclear operations to an outside company.
Thursday evening OPPD announced an operating services agreement with Exelon Generation, LLC to manage the plant for up to the duration of its operating license.
Exelon Nuclear Partners, a division of Exelon Generation, has been assisting with the recovery of the plant since January 2012. This agreement will increase Exelon’s involvement in the management of the plant.
“While we have made significant progress in our recovery efforts, this operating agreement will help take Fort Calhoun Station to the next level,” said W. Gary Gates, president and chief executive officer of OPPD. “By applying the Exelon Nuclear Management Model and the proven best practices from a world-class nuclear fleet like Exelon, we can ensure the sustainability and productivity of Fort Calhoun for the future.”
Omaha Public Power District will remain the owner and licensed operator of the plant, while Exelon will provide the day-to-day operations management. The Exelon Nuclear Management Model will be used to improve and sustain performance at Fort Calhoun Station. The plant staff will be a blended team of OPPD and Exelon employees.
Gates added, “This arrangement is consistent with other business models being used for single-unit nuclear utilities. It provides the economies of scale and expertise of a large fleet, while still maintaining local ownership and providing OPPD customers-owners with the most cost-efficient way of providing reliable and affordable power.”
Fort Calhoun Station has been offline for a scheduled refueling outage since April 9, 2011. During that time, the employees of OPPD successfully protected the plant during the historic Missouri River flooding.
The station has been working to get the plant operational and is working with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the current regulatory issues.
OPPD’s Fort Calhoun Station will remain in the current offline status until all issues have been addressed and OPPD’s leadership determine it is safe to restart and the NRC agrees.
Thursday eveing OPPD’s Board of Directors authorized management to enter into the operating services agreement at its monthly meeting, held in Blair.