The NRC held a public meeting with Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) on March 27 to discuss the status of the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant. The plant, just north of Omaha, Neb., has been shut down since April 9, 2011, for a refueling outage. The outage was extended due to historic flooding along the Missouri River followed by an electrical fire that led to an “Alert” declaration and further restart complications.
At the March meeting, NRC oversight panel members shared that a 15-member inspection team had been on site conducting a very thorough inspection and independent verification of the plant’s current status.
Based on the results of the team inspection activities, the NRC has found there are a number of potential issues that appear to need licensing actions. The NRC has scheduled a meeting with OPPD officials on April 22 to discuss four changes the licensee made to the plant that may have required prior NRC approval.
The first involves a change made to the plant’s water intake structure, which was discussed in a recently issued report. Secondly, OPPD used a method to evaluate systems, structures and components for seismic conditions that was not part of their licensing basis. Thirdly, they changed the method for analyzing the suitability of piping systems without approval. Lastly, some plant equipment may not be adequately protected from tornado-driven projectiles.
The meeting to discuss these issues is open to the public and details about the meeting can be found here. The public is encouraged to contact the project managers to obtain meeting materials prior to the meeting and to ensure they plan for the appropriate number of bridge lines.
A second meeting also is scheduled between NRC and OPPD on April 22. That meeting, to discuss the ongoing review of flood mitigation activities, is closed to the public due to sensitive security information being discussed.