Video: Fort Calhoun defueling outage complete

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OPPD officials notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, that the Fort Calhoun Station (FCS) defueling outage was complete.

The defueling outage ended on Thursday, Nov. 10, 17 days after it began. The work began when the reactor vessel head was removed and placed on the head stand (shown below) within the FCS containment building.

defueling outage

The defueling outage, which started Oct. 24, is going well, said Craig Longua, outage manager at FCS.

“Everyone has stayed focused on safety and strong human performance. We are working safely and efficiently,” he said. “We’ve had no injuries, and we are doing better than our outage dose goal for radiation exposure.”

fuel offload

From Oct. 29 through early Monday, Nov. 7, employees successfully offloaded the nuclear fuel from the reactor core. The following photos show the process as it occurred.

defueling outage
The fuel-handling machine in the containment building removes the 133 nuclear fuel assemblies, one at a time, from the reactor core.
defueling outage
Fred Klauzer, shift manager for Operations, serves as fuel-handling supervisor while Randy Eubanks from the contractor firm AREVA operates the fuel-handling machine. FCS is required to have a senior reactor operator in charge of all fuel movements to and from the reactor core.
defueling outage
Each assembly is lowered into the upender, which turns the assemblies from a vertical position to a horizontal position. It then moves them through the fuel-transfer canal to the adjacent auxiliary building.
defueling outage
In the auxiliary building, workers used a second fuel-handling machine to remove the assemblies from the transfer canal and placed them into the spent-fuel pool.
defueling outage
The defueling team included Equipment Operator Jason Jones, left, and Senior Equipment Operator Dave Cook.

Overnight Nov. 8 into the morning of Nov. 9, employees lifted the reactor vessel head and installed it atop the reactor cavity. That is where the vessel head will be bolted into place.

final task

On Nov. 10, workers at FCS installed six studs into the plant’s reactor vessel head. This completed the physical work for the defueling outage. The Outage Control Center was secured at 2:46 p.m. that day, officially marking the end of the outage.

The process was completed safely and efficiently with zero injuries or safety issues.

With all of the nuclear fuel assemblies now safely moved from the reactor to the spent-fuel pool, Fort Calhoun Station is ready to transition from an operating state to decommissioning. Below are some highlights from the events of Nov. 10.

photos from the work
Setting the head: In the FCS containment building, tag-line operators Larry Faris, far left, and Brandon Mickells, in the next photo, help guide the reactor vessel head into position.
Setting the head: In the FCS containment building, tag-line operators Larry Faris, far left, helps guide the reactor vessel head into position.
Brandon Mickells helps guide the reactor vessel head into position.
Brandon Mickells helps guide the reactor vessel head into position.
Dan Horak, left, operates the containment building polar crane to move the reactor vessel head while Kelly Hough and Laurel Ketcham observe.
Dan Horak, left, operates the containment building polar crane to move the reactor vessel head while Kelly Hough and Laurel Ketcham observe.
In the auxiliary building, Josh Wheeler, in the orange vest, signals to the crane operator to place the spent-fuel pool sluice gate into position.
Closing the gate: In the auxiliary building, Josh Wheeler, in the orange vest, signals to the crane operator to place the spent-fuel pool sluice gate into position.

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Monte Seals and Patrick Daniel served as dedicated foreign material exclusion (FME) monitors. They watch to ensure no extraneous material enters the spent-fuel pool or reactor cavity.
Monte Seals and Patrick Daniel served as dedicated foreign material exclusion (FME) monitors. They watch to ensure no extraneous material enters the spent-fuel pool or reactor cavity.
Andrew Roger

About Andrew Roger

Andrew Roger is a multimedia contributor to The Wire and digital media coordinator at Omaha Public Power District. Andrew produces powerful videos and photos to highlight OPPD’s impact in Nebraska.

Terry Zank

About Terry Zank

Terry Zank is a contributor to The Wire and senior publications coordinator at OPPD.

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