Ever since a massive earthquake and tsunami led to the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi, operators of nuclear energy facilities in the United States have taken steps to make safe plants even safer.
Even before Fukushima, Fort Calhoun Station was better prepared for emergencies because of the tragedy of 9/11. Following that terroristic act, OPPD took further actions to procure diesel-powered pumps capable of providing water to remove heat from the reactor, as well as enhancing firefighting capability and providing water to the spent fuel pool.
|OPPD put in place additional procedures and training for the use of this equipment, some of which was used during last summer’s flooding. Although that flooding was different than a tsunami, OPPD employees know what it takes to protect a nuclear power plant from water.
Responding to that flooding also brought additional protective equipment and processes into the plant’s capabilities.
OPPD is continuing to prepare by ordering additional mobile, high-volume diesel-driven pumps, small emergency diesel-powered electrical generators, hoses, fittings and satellite phones to ensure communication between the plant and our emergency facilities.
Our learnings from Fukushima have translated into extensive reviews of equipment, structures and procedures; updates of emergency procedures; and additions to emergency training.
OPPD technical experts have verified readiness of the equipment already on hand and associated procedures, inspected approximately 400 flood barriers and seals, and invested more than 12,000 worker-hours, checking and testing equipment and procedures that might be needed in an emergency.
At OPPD, the overriding goal is to reaffirm that Fort Calhoun Station and the professionals who operate and maintain it are prepared to deal with even the most severe unpredictable events.