Exelon to run Fort Calhoun nuclear plant

Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) officials today announced an operating services agreement with Exelon Generation, LLC to manage Fort Calhoun Station’s nuclear operations for up to the duration of its operating license.

Exelon Nuclear Partners, a division of Exelon Generation, has been assisting with the recovery of the plant since January 2012. This agreement will increase Exelon’s involvement in the management of the plant.

“While we have made significant progress in our recovery efforts, this operating agreement will help take Fort Calhoun Station to the next level,” said W. Gary Gates, president and chief executive officer of OPPD. “By applying the Exelon Nuclear Management Model and the proven best practices from a world-class nuclear fleet like Exelon, we can ensure the sustainability and productivity of Fort Calhoun for the future.”

Omaha Public Power District will remain the owner and licensed operator of the plant, while Exelon will provide the day-to-day operations management of the plant. The Exelon Nuclear Management Model will be used to improve and sustain performance at Fort Calhoun Station. The plant staff will be a blended team of OPPD and Exelon employees.

Gates added, “This arrangement is consistent with other business models being used for single-unit nuclear utilities. It provides the economies of scale and expertise of a large fleet, while still maintaining local ownership and providing OPPD customers-owners with the most cost-efficient way of providing reliable and affordable power.”

Fort Calhoun Station has been offline for a scheduled refueling outage since April 9, 2011. During that time, the employees of OPPD successfully protected the plant during the historic Missouri River flooding. The station has been working to get the plant operational and is working with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the current regulatory issues.

OPPD’s Fort Calhoun Station will remain in the current offline status until all issues have been addressed and OPPD’s leadership determines it is safe to restart and the NRC agrees.

OPPD’s Board of Directors tonight authorized management to enter into the operating services agreement at its monthly meeting, held in Blair.

In other action, the board:

        … approved investment managers for OPPD’s retirement plan

        … authorized management to negotiate and enter into a contract to furnish chemical and volume control system pipe replacement welding services at the Fort Calhoun Station

        … approved the sale of property at 144th and Blondo Streets to the City of Omaha

        … received the OPPD President’s Report for August

        … formally received the 2012 J.D. Power Award for Customer Satisfaction