St. Louis, Mo., (Dec. 20, 2011) - Ameren Missouri has filed an application with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a 20-year extension of the Callaway Nuclear Plant's operating license. The facility's current 40-year license expires in 2024, and the requested extension would allow it to operate until 2044.
Cleveland Reasoner, vice president, Engineering, for the facility, says the 1,500-page submittal is the result of more than three years of preparation.
"We evaluated every system, structure and component to ensure that we can continue to operate safely during the 20-year extension," Reasoner says. "Our license renewal team, with support from other plant and industry experts, assembled a very comprehensive application that has gone through many independent reviews. We're confident that this is a high quality application that provides the necessary information to enable Callaway to continue providing safe, reliable, low-cost electricity beyond the term of the original license."
Reasoner notes that 71 of the nation's 104 operating nuclear plants have already received 20-year license extensions.
NRC evaluation of a license extension application typically takes about two years. It begins with about six weeks of extensive site audits that include many document reviews, plant inspections, and interviews with plant personnel by NRC staff. Throughout the review period, numerous requests for additional information are typically made that require coordinated responses by the plant staff. Finally, there will be a series of meetings in Washington, D.C. where members of the Callaway team and NRC reviewers will present the case for a license extension to NRC committees.
The plant has been operating since 1984. On average, the 1,190-megawatt facility generates about 20 percent of the electricity supplied to Ameren Missouri's 1.2 million customers annually. It employs more than 800 people.