Fort Calhoun outage expenses spread over 10 years

The board of directors for the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) has approved a plan to amortize roughly $143m in operation and maintenance costs for returning the 480-MW Fort Calhoun nuclear plant to service.

The plan is expected to level out the impact of recovery costs to OPPD customers while ensuring current and future customers share in the costs and benefits of enhanced operations at the plant, OPPD said in a Sept. 20 statement.

Fort Calhoun Station has been offline since April 2011 following Missouri River flooding. OPPD was engaged in a refueling outage at the time of the flood.

OPPD has experienced significant, unplanned recovery costs since then to resolve  performance and operational concerns identified by the district and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Recovery operation and maintenance costs are projected to be $113m for 2012 and $30m for 2013, respectively, and 2012 capital is projected at $2m. The expenditures and associated operational enhancements are expected to benefit Fort Calhoun Station during future years by ensuring the plant will continue to operate safely, OPPD said.

In late 2003 NRC issued the Fort Calhoun plant a 20-year license extension, which would allow the plant to run until August 2033. OPPD recently retained Exelon (NYSE: EXC) to help run the plant.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.