Safety Inspections Again at NE Nuke

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 @ 02:01 PM gHale

More Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staffers descended again to the Fort Calhoun, NE, nuclear plant to review a report that workers that recently installed water pumps improperly bolted them down.

The NRC said it is investigating a condition reported in early December involving four raw water pumps secured with bolts that were too short to meet seismic requirements. The agency is also reviewing a checklist of other items the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) plant must address before it can restart.

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Fort Calhoun’s closure in April 2011 began with routine refueling maintenance, but massive flooding along the Missouri River that year and several safety and security violations forced it to remain closed.

It received an NRC red finding after a fire in a switchgear room two months later temporarily cut power to spent fuel cooling systems.

After those series of issues, the OPPD hired Exelon to take over day-to-day management of the plant, and a special NRC panel placed it under enhanced regulatory scrutiny.

Late last year the agency required that Fort Calhoun enhance flood barriers, emergency diesels and containment maintenance, which pushed OPPD’s restart target date into the first quarter of this year.

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