Turbine Malfunction Shuts NE Nuke

Friday, June 24, 2016 @ 03:06 PM gHale


Eastern Nebraska’s nuclear power plant went offline this week after a minor malfunction.

Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station north of Omaha went offline Tuesday morning when a turbine tripped, said officials at the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD).

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The system responded as designed by automatically shutting down the reactor without incident, utility officials said. The utility said the plant is safe and there were no injuries.

Operators are analyzing the cause of the situation, focusing on the speed and power controls of the turbine. Crews are working to resolve the issue and restore the unit to service.

The utility said earlier this month it was going to close the nuclear power plant by the end of the year.

OPPD decided it was in the best financial interest of the utility and its customers to close the plant by the end of this year, the utility said.

The plant sits on the Missouri River across from Iowa and is about 15 miles north of Omaha.

Among the factors cited in the decision to close the plant was the low price of natural gas, which makes it a cheaper way to generate electricity, and a federal energy plan that doesn’t offer carbon-free generation credit for existing nuclear plants.