Callaway Nuclear Generating Station

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Callaway Nuclear Generating Station
Callaway Nuclear Plant.JPG
Containment building (center) and cooling tower (right) at Callaway Plant (NRC picture).
Official nameCallaway Plant, Callaway Energy Center
CountryUnited States
LocationAuxvasse Township, Callaway County, near Steedman, Missouri
Coordinates38°45′42″N 91°46′48″W / 38.76167°N 91.78000°W / 38.76167; -91.78000Coordinates: 38°45′42″N 91°46′48″W / 38.76167°N 91.78000°W / 38.76167; -91.78000
Construction beganSeptember 1, 1975
Commission dateDecember 19, 1984
Construction cost$5.919 billion (2007 USD)[1]
Owner(s)Ameren Missouri
Operator(s)Ameren Missouri
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePWR
Reactor supplierWestinghouse
Cooling towers1 × Natural Draft
Cooling sourceMissouri River
Thermal capacity1 × 3565 MWth
Power generation
Units operational1 × 1215 MW
Make and modelWH 4-loop (DRYAMB)
Units cancelled1 × 1120 MW
1 × 1600 MW US EPR
Nameplate capacity1215 MW
Capacity factor78.34% (2017)
87.70% (lifetime)
Annual net output8338 GWh (2017)
External links
WebsiteCallaway Energy Center
CommonsRelated media on Commons

The Callaway Plant is a nuclear power plant located on a 2,767 acres (1,120 ha) site in Callaway County, Missouri, near Fulton, Missouri.[2] It began operating on December 19, 1984. The plant, which is the state's only commercial nuclear unit, has one 1,190-megawatt Westinghouse four-loop pressurized water reactor and a General Electric turbine-generator. It is owned by the Ameren Corporation and operated by subsidiary Ameren Missouri.

Surrounding population[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.[3]

The 2010 population within 10 miles (16 km) of Callaway was 10,092, an increase of 3.8 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for The 2010 population within 50 miles (80 km) was 546,292, an increase of 15.0 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Fulton (11 miles to city center), Jefferson City (26 miles to city center), and Columbia (32 miles to city center).[4]

In 2014, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission tests found contaminated ground water near the site.[5]

Power output[edit]

According to Ameren, Callaway produces about 19 percent of Ameren Missouri's power.[6] In 2001, Callaway set a plant record by producing 101.1 percent of its rated electrical output, ranking it among the world's top reactors, according to the Energy Information Administration.[7] The plant produces 1,279 electrical megawatts (MWe) of net power.[8] It has run continuously for over 500 days between refuelings, one of 26 U.S. reactors to do so.

On November 19, 2005, its workers finished replacing all four steam generators in 63 days, 13 hours, a world record for a four-loop plant.[9]

Cooling tower[edit]

Callaway Nuclear Generating Station at sunrise in 2020, with cooling tower visible at left

The cooling tower at Callaway is 553 feet (169 m) tall. It is 430 feet wide at the base, and is constructed from reinforced concrete. It cools about 585,000 US gallons (2,210,000 l; 487,000 imp gal) of water per minute when the plant is operating at full capacity; about 15,000 US gallons (57,000 l; 12,000 imp gal) of water per minute are lost out the top from evaporation.[10] Another 5,000 US gallons (19,000 l; 4,200 imp gal) of water are sent to the Missouri River as "blowdown" to flush solids from the cooling tower basin. All water lost through evaporation or blowdown is replaced with water from the river, located five miles from the plant.[10] The temperature of the water going into the cooling tower is 125 °F (52 °C), and the tower cools it to 95 °F (35 °C). The tower is designed such that if it were to somehow topple over completely intact, it would not damage any of the critical plant structures.[citation needed]

Proposed Unit 2 and cancellation[edit]

On July 28, 2008, Ameren Missouri applied to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) to build a 1,600-MW Areva Evolutionary Power Reactor.[11] "Given projections for a nearly 30 percent increase in demand for power in Missouri in the next two decades, we believe we will need to build a large generating plant to be on line in the 2018–2020 timeframe,"[6] wrote Thomas R. Voss, the company's president and chief executive officer.

In April 2009, the proposal was cancelled. One stumbling block was a law that forbids utilities to charge customers for the interest accrued on a construction loan before a new plant produces electricity. The new nuclear reactor would have cost at least $6 billion.[12][13]

In April 2012, Ameren Missouri and Westinghouse Electric Company announced their intent to seek federal funding for a new generation of nuclear reactors to be installed at the Callaway site. The U.S. Department of Energy could provide up to $452 million in research and development funds to Westinghouse. The new reactors would be smaller and, the companies claimed, safer in design than any currently operating. Ameren Missouri would apply to license up five of the 225-megawatt reactors at the Callaway site, more than doubling its current electrical output.[14]

In August 2015, a month after Ameren had announced plans to build solar energy plants in Missouri,[15] all plans to expand nuclear-powered electricity generation at the site were scrapped.[16]

Seismic risk[edit]

In August 2010, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimated that the annual chance that an earthquake might damage the core at Callaway was 1 in 500,000,[17][18] the lowest probability of any U.S. reactor.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "EIA - State Nuclear Profiles". Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Callaway, Unit 1, Current Facility Operating License NPF-30, Tech Specs, Revised 09/26/2017" (pdf). Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Backgrounder on Emergency Preparedness at Nuclear Power Plants". Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Retrieved 2019-12-22.
  4. ^, Bill Dedman Investigative reporter (2011-04-14). "Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors". Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  5. ^ Slavit, Mark (2014-08-05). "Callaway nuclear plant well water samples have radioactivity". KRCG. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  6. ^ a b "Ameren Missouri Submits Combined Construction and Operating License Application for a Second Nuclear Generating Unit". Ameren. 2008-07-28. Archived from the original on 2009-04-12. Retrieved 2008-07-29.
  7. ^ "Missouri Nuclear Industry". Energy Information Administration. 2006-08-18. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Callaway Nuclear Plant Returns to Service Following Refueling and Maintenance; Sets World Record for Steam Generator Replacement". Ameren. 2005-11-21. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2008-07-29.
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^ Dan Yurman (2008-07-28). "Ameren files for 2nd reactor with NRC". Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes. Retrieved 2008-07-29.
  12. ^ Nuke plant is, well, nuked. Not gonna happen
  13. ^ Terry Ganey. AmerenUE pulls plug on project Archived 2012-07-13 at the Wayback Machine Columbia Daily Tribune, April 23, 2009.
  14. ^ "Federal aid sought to build nuclear reactors in Missouri". The Kansas City Star. 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  15. ^ Barker, Jacob. "Ameren seeks to build massive solar array along I-70". Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Bill Dedman, "What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk," NBC News, March 17, 2011 Accessed April 19, 2011.
  18. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2011-04-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]