The Omaha Public Power District is a step closer to reopening the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station north of Omaha.
Following a successful test last month of pipes that carry steam and water to the plant's reactor, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Thursday that inspectors have cleared — or are close to clearing — more than 90 percent of a lengthy checklist of corrective items that OPPD needs to address before Fort Calhoun can reopen.
The plant was shut down in April 2011 for a scheduled refueling. It stayed offline while the Missouri River flooded, then it was placed under federal control after an electrical fire and the discovery of a number of safety violations.
Neither the district nor the NRC will estimate when Fort Calhoun will reopen, but OPPD is assuming for budgetary purposes that it will be generating power by year's end.
To date, the district has spent $126.4 million on restart costs.