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News Releases : OPPD Board approves DECON decommissioning method

The Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors has approved updated plans for decommissioning Fort Calhoun Station (FCS).

At today’s monthly meeting, they authorized management to enter into DECON, as well as negotiate a contract to obtain the necessary technical, management, and specialty support needed to complete decontamination, deconstruction and disposal of radioactive material and other decommissioning activities associated with FCS.

OPPD’s senior management team presented the DECON option to directors last month, as an alternative to SAFSTOR, where residual radioactivity is allowed to naturally decay in place over 60 years’ time. With DECON, decontamination activities would take place over the next 10 years or so. The accelerated pace could potentially save the utility up to $200 million long-term.

The DECON option is possible due to the progress made by OPPD employees at FCS and those in supporting roles across the utility. “They have kept the decommissioning project moving along safely, on-time and under budget,” said OPPD President and CEO Tim Burke.

OPPD remains committed to no general rate increases through 2021.

Strategic Directives

The board also examined several strategic directive policies this week, including Board Policy: Strategic Directive-7 (SD-7), related to environmental stewardship. Last month, while working to refine the policy, directors asked for public feedback.

As part of Tuesday’s committee meetings, directors continued their discussion around a renewables target and added proposed language not previously included in the draft posted for review last month. In light of this addition, the updated SD-7 draft will be reopened for comments through Sunday, Nov. 4. Those interested in submitting comments may do so by visiting The board will examine comments received and may vote on a revised policy draft in November.

This strategic directive policy, one of 15 in total, was adopted in 2015 as part of the board’s Governance Initiative.  

These policies are designed to help the board: 1) sharpen its focus on critical issues, 2) clarify the relationship between the board and management, 3) optimize decision-making, and 4) deliver organizational results aligned with agreed-upon strategic performance objectives and risk levels.

Today, the board accepted the monitoring report for Board Policy: Strategic Directive 13, related to stakeholder outreach and engagement. By accepting this report, directors find the district to be sufficiently in compliance with the policy. Directors evaluate all board policies annually.

In addition, directors:

  • Accepted the monitoring report for Board Policy: SD-10, related to business ethics, noting it to be sufficiently in compliance with the policy.
  • Accepted the monitoring report for Board Policy: SD-12, related to information management and security, noting that OPPD is taking reasonable and appropriate measures to comply with the policy.

Other board business

At today’s meeting, directors also:

  • Authorized OPPD management to award a contract to Grunwald Mechanical Contractors and Engineers in the amount of $1,060,612 for the purchase and installation of underground piping for the coal handling system at Nebraska City Station.
  • Authorized OPPD management to reject proposals received for RFP No. 5475 and enter into a negotiated contract for steel transmission structures associated with Sarpy Transmission Project.
  • Received the president’s monthly utility report. You can view that report after it is posted by visiting

Next meetings

Next month’s board committee meetings will start at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13. The monthly board meeting will be Thursday, Nov. 15, at 4 p.m. Both meetings will take place at OPPD’s Energy Plaza, 444 S. 16th St., Omaha. The meetings also are livestreamed at