The Omaha Public Power District says it now plans to have the reactor at Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station ready to begin producing power in just over two months.
Lou Cortopassi, the plant's vice president and chief nuclear officer, said his team is working to show the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission that there's been significant progress to correct the long list of safety concerns that's kept the plant shut down for nearly two years.
Tonight, at a public meeting with the NRC, OPPD will say it wants to get fuel loaded in the reactor by mid-April, heat up the reactor by mid-May and be back online by late May, he said.
That plan will depend on the approval of the NRC, which has been conducting a series of on-site inspections since earlier this year.
OPPD is working through a checklist of more than 450 items, which has proved to take longer than officials initially expected.
The district has announced — and then passed — a handful of target restart dates over the last year and a half. When officials drew up this year's budget, they based it on a restart date of Feb. 1.
So far, OPPD has said it doesn't expect to have to make any midyear rate hikes as a result of the delay. Last year's average rate hikes of 6.9 percent were blamed in part on the costs of restarting the plant.
Cortopassi said more than 150 items on the restart checklist have been approved so far. He said the NRC may announce an updated number at the public meeting.
He said the meeting will provide a chance to share specifics about changes being made at Fort Calhoun, which is located about 20 miles north of Omaha.
“You're going to see us continue to emphasize behavior change and show the progress,” he said. “We'll show it by number of activities completed, the number remaining, to show that physical progress in fixing the plant.”
The meeting with the NRC will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, 16th and Dodge Streets.
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