AmerenUE’s Callaway Nuclear Plant, located near Fulton, Mo., has returned to service after shutting down April 1 for regularly scheduled refueling and maintenance. The plant began generating electricity again at 5:56 a.m. today.
Refueling outages at the 1,190-megawatt plant occur every 18 months. This was the 15th refueling since the plant began operating in 1984.
“Our Callaway team worked very safely throughout Refuel 15,” says John Patterson, manager, Planning, Scheduling and Outages at the plant. “We had zero nuclear safety events and zero lost time injuries. These two measures reflect how safely AmerenUE employees and our 1,300 supplemental employees worked to protect themselves and the public as we completed more than 8,000 activities during this refueling outage.”
During refueling, operators replaced 92 of the 193 fuel assemblies in the reactor core. A fuel assembly is an 8 ½-inch-square bundle of 12-foot-long metal tubes containing ceramic pellets of uranium dioxide fuel. Each fuel pellet is about the size of a pencil eraser.
Used fuel assemblies removed from the reactor are stored temporarily in the spent fuel pool—a stainless steel-lined water pool inside the fuel building. The pool—about the size of a tennis court—has enough space to safely store all the used fuel that accumulates at the plant until 2020, with the capability for additional storage capacity through 2024 when the plant’s current operating license expires.
As in past refueling outages, thousands of maintenance activities, modifications, inspections and tests were also performed throughout the plant.
In 2006, the Callaway Plant accounted for 20 percent of AmerenUE’s power generation and 13 percent of the total generation on the Ameren system. The plant’s net generation of 10.1 million megawatt-hours was equivalent to the energy used by 840,000 average households.
Since beginning operation in 1984, the Callaway Plant has achieved the fourth highest lifetime generation among the 103 nuclear power plants operating in the U.S. At the end of 2006, the plant’s lifetime generation also ranked 20th in the world out of 445 nuclear power plants operating in 30 countries.
AmerenUE is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. The Ameren companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and nearly one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
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