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Fort Calhoun nuclear station scaling back emergency procedures

Nuclear plant emergency procedure scaled back at FCS, FORT CALHOUN, Neb. (WOWT)–  By Josh Spreiter |  

Some changes are effective today at the Fort Calhoun Station. This is a part of the de-commissioning process at the old nuclear power plant which was shut down in 2016. People living within the “Emergency Planning Zone should have received a letter in the mail explaining this step.

Right now, FCS employees are working to safely de-commission the plant, a process that can take up to 60 years. Over the next year, OPPD will be removing the 101 sirens across the EPZ, simply because they are no longer needed.

An FCS manager says the used nuclear fuel has cooled to a point where the likelihood of a leak is “extremely low.” All the fuel will be removed from the pool and placed into dry cask storage on site.

Residents living with this zone will also no longer receive the annual emergency planning information brochure.

Over the years, the old nuclear power plant had some close calls. During the 2011 Missouri River Flood, FCS became an island itself. The plant remained safe and dry inside, but the flooding continued for several months as water was pumped out from behind a series of barriers that were installed around the plant. One of the barriers collapsed but the plant remained safe.

Even before the floodwater reached the plant, there was a fire in the cooling system used for fuel. It concerned federal regulators because the fire could have happened at any time, as workers didn’t fully investigate an unusual smell three days earlier.

Now, as FCS opens the page to a new chapter, people we spoke to say they have full confidence officials will keep them safe.

OPPD says it continue to have staff onsite 24/7. Technical experts will also be available if any concerns arise.


April 11, 2018 - Posted by | safety, USA

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