AC Woes Hinder Ft. Calhoun Nuke

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 @ 10:04 AM gHale

After repairing a broken air conditioner, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station north of Omaha, NE, is back up and running.

An alarm last Tuesday at 3 p.m. indicated trouble with the control room’s air conditioning system, according to an event report filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). What made that a problem was the backup air conditioner was down for maintenance.

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Plant rules call for a shutdown if the control room air conditioning will be out of service for six hours or more, so the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) began powering down around 6 p.m., district spokesman Jeff Hanson said.

A few hours later, having fixed the air conditioner, OPPD stopped the shutdown process and started bringing the unit back up to full power.

Fort Calhoun restarted in December after nearly three years in a cold shutdown. This is the third time since restart that OPPD has had to go offline or reduce power to fix a problem.

In January, ice buildup damaged a sluice gate, taking the plant offline for four days. OPPD officials said there was no danger of flooding at the time.

In March, it was generator problems. Workers performing maintenance on the generator noticed the turbine cooling system was losing water, tripping an automatic fail-safe system. The plant was down for two days.

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