As the escalating costs of downtime and repairs at Fort Calhoun continue to pile up, the OPPD Board of Directors has approved a plan to spread out the cost over a period of 10 years. OPPD says recovery operations and maintenance costs are projected to be $134 million over budget, and will restructure the budget to $113 million this year and $30 million in 2013 by delaying projects and leaving vacant positions open. OPPD is projecting to spend $21 million this year.
In 2011, OPPD spent approximately $32 million to purchase electricity from other providers while Fort Calhoun was shutdown. Questions related to how the flooding might have affected the soil under the facility have not been answered as of yet.
Edward Easterlin, OPPD vice president and chief financial officer, said it’s too soon to say if the district will need to raise rates to help pay for Fort Calhoun. Easterlin said OPPD expects the deal will save money in the long run, though it’s difficult to put a number on the savings.
The district had hoped to bring the plant back to service in 2012, but the plant remains shut down since April 2011 because regulators have found several problems. The NRC gave the plant a “D” rating in early September 2011 due to the 2009 flood mitigation and control issues (flood preparedness) and for a faulty electrical connector issue from 2010.
In August 2012 OPPD signed a deal for Exelon Nuclear Partners to manage the plant and oversee day to day operations, which was hoped, would bring additional negotiation leverage to the single-unit facility, although OPPD would maintain ownership.
Source: WOWT Channel 6 News