OPPD Re-Assures Ratepayers On Fort Calhoun Decommissioning Costs

Omaha Public Power District Representatives assured the public in an open meeting Wednesday that its current funding strategy for decommissioning the shuttered Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant would cover the costs.

Fort Calhoun NPPRepresentatives from the company and from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission discussed the decommissioning plans with the public at the Doubletree Hotel in Omaha, the Omaha World Herald reported.

Decommissioning Fort Calhoun, which closed down operations in October 2016, is expected to cost $1.5 billion using 2016 dollar values. But the project is estimated to take until about 2075 to complete, which means inflation will play a role in the final sum. With inflation values factored in, decommissioning is estimated to cost about $3 billion.

The power district has promised ratepayers there will be no general rate increase for the next five years. Its funding strategy, meanwhile, is to increase its decommissioning fund reserve from the current $382 million to $1 billion within the next seven years.

As an important side note, the final batches of spent fuel at the plant will be placed in dry casks within the next five years and these casks have no destination other than continued storage at the site. Unless a solution – federal or otherwise – to long-term storage of spent fuel isn't found, the costs of spent fuel storage could continue to plague OPPD ratepayers indefinitely.

The power district has said that armed guards will be on site to guard the dry casks storage unit for as long as the spent fuel remains on the premises.

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