AmerenUE’s Callaway Plant, operating continuously for 520 days, has achieved what is known in the industry as a “breaker-to-breaker run.” This means the plant operated from one refueling to the next without ever being out of service. The plant is refueled every 18 months and must go offline during refueling.
Before beginning its 16th refueling outage on Saturday, Oct. 11, the Callaway Plant had operated continuously since its last refueling outage ended in May 2007. This was the plant’s first breaker-to-breaker run since it began operating in 1984.
Callaway is one of only 26 of the nation’s 104 nuclear plants to achieve a record run of more than 500 days. Callaway’s previous record was 483 days, ending in 1998.
“Our people are to be commended for achieving this significant milestone,” said Fadi Diya, vice president of Nuclear Operations. “Callaway has been a production leader for many years, most recently ranking the 4th highest in lifetime generation among all nuclear plants in the United States and 20th highest in lifetime generation out of more than 400 plants around the world. This new operating record is another indicator that we are focused on the right things—safety and reliability.”
During the breaker-to-breaker run, the 1,190 megawatt plant generated 16 million megawatthours of electricity, enough to power more than 857,000 average households. Callaway accounts for nearly 20 percent of UE’s electricity generation.
The plant is expected to be out of service for several weeks as operators replace 85 of the 193 fuel assemblies in the reactor core. Each fuel assembly is an 8 1/2-inch-square bundle of 12-foot-long metal tubes containing ceramic pellets of uranium dioxide fuel. One fuel pellet contains the amount of energy in 149 gallons of oil, one ton of coal or 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas.
While the plant is out of service, thousands of maintenance activities, inspections and tests will be performed to ensure maximum safety and reliability when the plant is brought back online. Approximately 1,000 contractor employees and other additional workers will join the plant’s regular staff to handle the large volume of outage activities.
AmerenUE, a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation, serves 1.2 million electric customers and 127,000 natural gas customers in a 24,000-square-mile area covering north, central and eastern Missouri.
CONTACT: Mike Cleary, 573.681.7137, of AmerenUE