BLAIR, Neb. — A new filing with the Nebraska Department of Labor says about 400 Omaha Public Power District employees involved with the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant will lose their jobs by the end of 2019.

District spokeswoman Jodi Baker told the Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/2cKRBQU ) that the number of affected employees is an estimate. The utility expected to have a more precise figure as it creates a clearer plan for closing the plant.

The filing says the layoffs will occur in “several rounds.” The utility notified the first group of 58 employees on Sept. 1 that it would terminate their positions on Oct. 31, a week after the nuclear plant is scheduled to permanently halt operations.

The first round of layoffs will be the only job cuts tied to Fort Calhoun this year and will eliminate positions including nuclear engineers, chemists and clerks. Baker said she couldn’t predict when additional layoffs would come.

“OPPD leaders have held a number of employee roundtables and will continue to do so to keep employees informed throughout the decommissioning process,” she said.

Baker said 40 former Fort Calhoun employees had already resigned or retired at the time of the layoff announcement Sept. 1. About 15 other workers had transferred elsewhere within the company.

The Omaha utility said in a letter to the Nebraska Department of Labor that labor union representatives “have been invited to engage in the negotiation of benefits such as severance, pensions and vacation.

The Fort Calhoun nuclear plant is 20 miles north of Omaha. It employed about 700 people at its peak.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com