OPPD aerial

The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station began commercial production of electricity on Sept. 23, 1973. The cost of the land and plant totaled $178.3 million.

Omaha Public Power District senior management have recommended closure of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station by the end of the year.

A presentation was given during the OPPD board meeting this morning. The board will vote on the closure at its June 16 meeting.

The recommendation came at the request of Chairman Mick Mines, of Blair, who directed management during the April 14 board meeting to provide potential scenarios regarding the future resource portfolio.

Factors contributing to the recommendation include industry trends like slow revenue growth, market conditions and increasing regulatory and operational costs.

The nuclear plant employs approximately 650 people; about 157 of those employees live in Washington County. Management was scheduled to be notified at 7 a.m. today, and other employees during a 1:30 p.m. meeting. A meeting for backshift employees is scheduled for 5:30 a.m. Friday.

According to OPPD President and CEO Tim Burke, there would be "no significant staffing changes for 18 months to two years." Some employees would remain for the decommissioning process of the plant.

"We will need a core group of 200-plus employees for a relatively long time past that two-year period," Burke told the Enterprise.

The Enterprise will post more comprehensive coverage about the nuclear plant closure later today and in the Friday print edition.

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