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Fulton, Mo. (Oct. 5, 2020) – Ameren Missouri’s Callaway Energy Center, which powers 780,000 homes, has begun its 24th planned refueling and maintenance outage. The regular refueling periods happen every 18 months. Approximately one-third of Callaway's fuel assemblies will be replaced during the outage at the 1,285-megawatt nuclear facility. The down time is also used for maintenance and equipment upgrades that otherwise could not be performed while the reactor is operating.
"These refueling periods are an integral part of continuing nuclear energy's role in providing safe, reliable, affordable and carbon-free energy to our customers," said Barry Cox, site vice president. "The carbon-free, 24/7 energy the Callaway Energy Center provides is critical as more renewables are put on the system in the years to come."
The continued, conservative operation of the Callaway Energy Center is central to Ameren's recently-announced transformational changes toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Callaway, along with the company's other energy center, provide a strong base of reliable, low-cost energy resources to bring on a total of 5,400 MW of renewable energy by 2040.
With so many tasks to accomplish in this refueling outage, Ameren Missouri will be adding approximately 800 additional workers from across the state. They will be supplementing Callaway's regular workforce of about 800 employees and giving a tremendous boost to the local economy.
"In addition to our rigorous standards normally in place during a nuclear refueling outage, we have proactively implemented additional safety protocols to protect our Ameren co-workers, contractors and surrounding communities from the spread of COVID-19," Cox said. "The safety of our workers and community is our top priority."
Additional protocols put in place include temperature monitoring and health screenings prior to entering the energy center each day, requiring face covers unless social distancing can be maintained, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting schedules, a management review and a 14-day quarantine of any co-worker that has been exposed or is confirmed positive for COVID-19. In addition to these protocols, all contractors arriving on-site receive a COVID-19 test as part of their badging process.
The Callaway Energy Center generates approximately 25% of the energy for Ameren Missouri’s 1.2 million customers.
"Customers will not notice any difference in their service," Cox said. "These outages are planned well in advance, ensuring other Ameren Missouri energy centers are available to serve customers."
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, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.