FULTON, Mo., Nov. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Refueling and maintenance activities at Ameren Missouri's Callaway Energy Center have been completed, and the 1,190-megawatt nuclear energy center is back in service. This was the 20th planned refueling and maintenance outage for Callaway, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Dec. 19.
During the refueling period, which began Oct. 11, thousands of periodic maintenance activities, inspections and tests were performed to maintain and monitor the integrity of the center. In addition, one of the largest maintenance activities in Callaway's history took place with the replacement of the original reactor vessel head, which was installed when Callaway went online in 1984.
As a critical replacement, the approximately $150 million part will ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of Callaway, which is recognized as one of the safest and highest performing non-carbon producing generating centers in the United States. Installation of the new reactor vessel head represents one investment that Ameren Missouri is making on behalf of customers for cleaner air and renewable energy while upgrading outdated and aging infrastructure to create a more dependable grid.
Also during the outage, which occurs every 18 months, 84 of the 193 fuel assemblies in the reactor core were replaced. Each assembly is an 8½-inch square bundle of 12-foot long metal tubes containing ceramic pellets of uranium dioxide fuel.
To help accomplish the wide range of tasks, more than 1,100 supplemental workers joined Callaway's regular workforce of about 800 employees – providing a powerful boost to the area's economy.
"I am proud of our people. The refueling outage was successful because of our team and their engagement," said Barry Cox, senior director of nuclear operations. "Their efforts ensure that Callaway will continue to be a safe and reliable source of energy for our state."
Callaway generates about 20 percent of the electricity supplied to Ameren Missouri's 1.2 million electric customers and is one reason why Ameren Missouri's electric rates are more than 16 percent below the Midwest average.
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 127,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information please visit AmerenMissouri.com or follow Ameren Missouri on Facebook or Twitter.
SOURCE Ameren Missouri