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Callaway Plant Returns to Service after Refueling and Maintenance Outage

AmerenUE’s Callaway Plant, located near Fulton, Mo., has returned to service after completing a refueling and maintenance outage that began April 17. The nuclear power plant began generating electricity again at 6:24 a.m. on Saturday, June 12.

Refueling outages at the 1,190-megawatt plant occur every 18 months. This was the 17th refueling since the plant began operating in 1984.

“I am proud of our people. Our Callaway team worked safely throughout Refuel 17,” says Fadi Diya, UE vice president, Nuclear Operations. “We had no operational events and no lost time injuries. This reflects how safely our people, including supplemental personnel, worked to protect themselves and the public as we completed approximately 10,500 activities during this refueling outage.”

During refueling, operators replaced 88 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 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.

Besides refueling the reactor, Callaway employees and approximately 1,000 supplemental workers also performed maintenance activities, modifications, inspections and tests to help ensure maximum safety and reliability when the plant returned to service.

“We performed our scheduled maintenance, and during startup testing to return the plant to service, we identified additional maintenance that needed to be conducted. That caused the outage to last longer than originally scheduled,” says Diya. “The additional work we performed helps ensure the safety and reliability of our plant for the next 18-month operating cycle and for years to come.”

In 2009, the Callaway Plant generated more electricity than in any other calendar year in the plant’s 25-year history, and accounted for 21 percent of UE’s total power generation.

AmerenUE, founded in 1902, provides electric and gas service to approximately 1.2 million customers across central and eastern Missouri, including the greater St. Louis area. UE serves 57 Missouri counties and 500 towns. The company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. For more information, visit www.amerenue.com.

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Contact: Mike Cleary, 573-681-7137