On March 6, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced approval of Ameren Missouri’s Callaway Energy Center’s license renewal application, which allows for 20 additional years of operation – beyond the original 40-year operating license that was set to expire in 2024. Callaway’s new license extends the life of the energy center to 2044. Approval by the NRC marks the culmination of a rigorous, six-year process that included various comprehensive design reviews and numerous inspections.
“We are extremely pleased with the NRC’s decision,” said Fadi Diya, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer at Ameren Missouri. “Renewal of our license ensures that the Callaway Energy Center will continue to benefit our customers and the community. Callaway employs hundreds of people, provides a powerful boost to the local and state economy and is a key reason why Ameren Missouri is able to provide our customers with reliability that is among the best in the United States.”
Callaway’s original license was approved in 1984 when the energy center began generating electricity.
The application process included a technical review and an environmental review. The technical portion required an evaluation of equipment to ensure programs are in place to monitor how the equipment may age over time. Site personnel evaluated over 17,000 components and credited 42 different programs to ensure equipment aging is monitored and repairs or replacements are performed to keep the equipment in top condition. The environmental review examined the impact of Callaway Energy Center on the local environment and economy. The NRC’s review of the application has taken three years, and involved six weeks of site inspections and several meetings with members of the public in nearby Fulton, Mo.
“The NRC's review process for our license renewal application has been extremely thorough and provides verification that Callaway has the proper programs and plans to operate for 20 additional years,” said Sarah Kovaleski, Ameren Missouri’s director, design engineering, who provided oversight of the relicensing process. “We are committed to safe, long-term operation of Callaway, and the NRC’s decision reinforces our commitment. We are pleased to have the opportunity to serve our customers, our community and our employees for years to come.”
The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, the original legislation that authorized civilian use of nuclear energy, permits nuclear energy centers in the United States to renew their operating licenses.
The Callaway Energy Center, which generates 1,200 megawatts of clean and reliable energy, will continue to follow the same rigorous programs of safety, oversight and inspection by the NRC during its extended period of operation, led by two full-time inspectors at the station, as well as supplemental inspectors from the NRC regional headquarters. The energy center has its own extensive programs in preventative and corrective maintenance, equipment testing, monitoring and replacement, and environmental testing.
NRC approval of Callaway’s operating license is one of many highlights during the past 12 months. Other highlights and milestones include:
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.