Regulators say Neb. nuke plant being heated to test steam pipes after long outage

OMAHA, Neb. – A troubled nuclear power plant near Omaha is being heated up to test its pressurized steam pipes for leaks after an outage that dates to April 2011.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Lara Uselding told The Associated Press the utility began heating up the water in the Fort Calhoun plant’s power-generating system to 515 degrees Tuesday.

The plant about 20 miles north of Omaha will remain heated for the next several days, so the commission and the utility can test systems that are used only when the plant is running.

This step’s an important milestone in the Omaha Public Power District’s efforts to resume generating power at the plant.

Fort Calhoun initially shut down for maintenance, but significant flooding, a small fire and a series of safety violations kept it closed.