In a recent interview with the Omaha World Herald, OPPD CEO Gary Gates admitted that Ft. Calhoun Nuclear Station has had a slipping safety standard.
“Gates thinks there has been subtle slippage. He thinks one factor in the switch failure was a conscious falling back on the fact that the plant had redundant systems.”
Plant union representative Ken Dowdy agreed.
“Ken Dowdy, a union official who works as a maintenance planner at Fort Calhoun, said there are definitely management issues within the plant.
“I can’t tell you leadership is wonderful but we’re in column four,” Dowdy said. “That’s where the rubber meets the road.”
He declined to specify what he thinks the management issues are but said he has confidence Gates will make necessary changes.”
The plant was left surrounded by river flooding, had a fire, a flood protection failure and now a critical safety simulation failure, they are currently one level away from being shut down by the NRC. The NRC states they currently have no intention of doing so.
These images were pulled from nukeworker.com earlier this summer and appear to currently still be there. The general theme of carelessness and highly unprofessional things like graffiti on the walls in the reactor building are visual proof of the lack of leadership and unprofessional behavior at a US nuclear power station that is on the NRC’s worst rating. It is unclear if all the images of drinking are also part of the culture at Ft. Calhoun or if they were happenstance what images were on hand. The decison that this is how they wish to present themselves to the nuclear industry and the wider world again questions the judgement at Ft. Calhoun. The general theme seems to be one of carelessness in an industry that needs a clear level of competency and professionalism.
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