FULTON — Few members of the public showed up at an open house in Fulton on Tuesday night to discuss the 2010 performance of the Callaway Nuclear Power Plant.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission representatives were on hand at the Burton Business Building at William Woods University to go over an assessment of the Ameren Missouri-operated plant's safety performance. After evaluating all of the plant's violations from the past year, the commission found that the plant was operating well.
"Ameren continues to operate Callaway in a safe manner," said Geoffrey Miller, chief of the commission's Reactors Project Branch B, which oversees inspections, assessments, follow-ups and enforcement at Callaway.
The commission places nuclear plants into five categories based on performance that dictate inspection schedules. Callaway has been placed in the first category, meaning no additional oversight is necessary at the plant.
"We will continue with the regimen of inspections for plants that are performing well," Miller said.
Callaway had required additional oversight for a portion of 2010, said David Dumbacher, the senior resident inspector at Callaway. Issues in March 2010 with an emergency diesel generator, combined with the same generator failing in 2008, led the commission to temporarily downgrade the plant's status and require additional inspections, according to an assessment follow-up letter from the commission to Ameren.
Ameren resolved the issue, and the plant's status was restored.
"They did what they are supposed to do," Dumbacher said.
To ensure safety at the plant, issues such as the failed generator run through a "corrective action program," and resident inspectors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are on-site.
Dumbacher said as many as 15,000 issues varying in significance go through the plant's program. He and another inspector take a closer look at a sample of the issues to make sure Ameren is properly addressing problems.
"Our guys are looking for issues that could be an issue down the road," said Lara Uselding, public affairs officer for the commission's Region 4. "We are catching it before it becomes a problem."