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Group contracted to help with nuclear plant decommissioning

Posted at 11:21 AM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 12:39:56-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — OPPD says it has contracted with EnergySolutions to begin "an accelerated DECON" of the nuclear plant near Fort Calhoun.

With the partnership in place OPPD says it is projected to save ratepayers about $200 million and lead to a substantial dismantling by the "mid-2020's."

According to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, OPPD said spent nuclear fuel should be in storage by 2022 and the site will be ready for full decommissioning starting in 2060.

You can read OPPD's full release below:

The Omaha Public Power District has entered into a contract with EnergySolutions, an industry-leading nuclear services company, to provide technical support for the safe, efficient decommissioning of OPPD’s Fort Calhoun Station (FCS).

After 43 years of service, FCS was permanently taken offline and defueled in 2016. The site is located 19 miles north of Omaha, Nebr.

OPPD’s Board of Directors has endorsed an accelerated DECON method of decontamination and deconstruction. The move is projected to save ratepayers around $200 million and have the site substantially dismantled in the mid-2020’s.

The project will be led by OPPD employees, with EnergySolutions personnel supporting with technical and specialized project expertise. OPPD retains full ownership, control and regulatory accountability for the site. By contract and principle, both companies share a common set of goals, as well as project risks and rewards.

After FCS ceased operations, EnergySolutions began providing decommissioning management and radiological waste services. This new contract expands levels and avenues of support, on and off-site. EnergySolutions personnel will complement the seasoned FCS workforce, leveraging OPPD’s site-specific expertise, performance and professionalism that have been the hallmarks of decommissioning to date.

“We are excited about the opportunity to continue working with OPPD towards the full decommissioning of FCS,” stated Ken Robuck, EnergySolutions president and CEO. “We are confident our partnership and common vision for this project with OPPD and continued ability to utilize its experienced workforce will be a tremendous benefit to the safe and successful completion of this project.”

OPPD is pleased to be working with EnergySolutions as they bring recent, relevant experience and lessons learned from successful commercial nuclear reactor projects conducted at Zion, Ill., LaCrosse, Wis., and Fayetteville, Ark.