Layoff Picture At Fort Calhoun NPP Comes Clearer

Part of the layoff picture at the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant near Omaha, Neb., is coming clearer with a filing with the Nebraska Department of Labor.

Fort Calhoun NPPThe Omaha Public Power District (OPPD said in August – in a letter to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission – that it would permanently shut down the 478-megawatt capacity Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) on Oct. 24. Word of the impending disclosure, without a specific date attached – was announced in June.

A recent filing with the state's labor department said that the first layoffs would include 58 employees, who were notified of their terminations on Sept. 1. The employees have been notified that their positions would end on Oct. 31.

The plant is owned by the OPPD, but operated by Exelon Nuclear Partners Co. According to an Associated Press report, the Labor Department has also been informed that 400 employees would be let go by the end of 2019.

The number is an estimate, said OPPD spokeswoman Jodi Baker. At its peak, about 700 persons worked at the plant that has been tagged for closure due to economic headwinds in the energy market.

That said, the plant is currently planning about 50 different decommissioning plans. It is estimated that decommissioning will take about 60 years, including 18 months in which the current fuel load is placed in cool-down storage pools before it can be moved to dry storage. Full decommissioning costs are estimated at $1.5 billion.

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