The NRC has (again) punished Ft. Calhoun Nuclear station and operator Omaha Public Power District for failures at the Ft. Calhoun nuclear station. A “serious threat” finding was issued in relation to a fire that happened while the plant was shut down but in a heightened stage due to rising flood waters last year. The fire caused both the electrical system for cooling spent fuel and the back up power system to go out. Workers smelled something odd for 3 days but didn’t investigate. An improper breaker installed allowed grease to enter the contacts, eventually starting the fire. OPPD does not contest the NRC finding on the fire and has admitted on multiple occasions that management and workers have failed.
Adding to the surreal goings on at Ft. Calhoun, Nebraska Watchdog found out that in the last 2 weeks the emergency sirens meant to notify the nearby communities were not working on 2 occasions. 101 sirens malfunctioned last Tuesday for 2 hours and on February 23rd, 21 sirens were out for over 7 hours. OPPD claims it was electrical problems. Then their spokesman made this utterly clueless comment:
“At no time was the public in danger because no emergency existed,”
If something had happened while the sirens were out, Omaha, eastern Nebraska, eastern South Dakota and part of Iowa are just out of luck.
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