Ameren Missouri files application for Callaway Energy Center license renewal

Tuesday, January 3, 2012 | 4:42 p.m. CST; updated 7:19 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 3, 2012

COLUMBIA — Ameren Missouri, in late December, submitted an application to extend the Callaway Energy Center’s operating license for 20 years.

The Callaway Energy Center, also known as Callaway Nuclear Plant, is the only nuclear plant in Missouri. Its current, 40-year operation license will expire by 2024. If the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves this 20-year extension application, the center’s operating license will be extended to 2044. 

Cleveland Reasoner, vice president of engineering at the plant, said the center has worked on the 1,500-page application for about three years. He said the application will take 22 to 24 months for the commission to process. This evaluation includes reviewing the application, plant inspections and interviews.

Earlier last year, Ameren Missouri wanted the state legislature to pass a bill that would have allowed utilities to charge customers for the cost of getting a site permit for a second nuclear plant in Callaway County, according to a previous Missourian article. This bill did not pass.

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Derrick Fogle January 3, 2012 | 7:27 p.m.

1,500 pages... 22-24 months... That much? Seriously? Any word on eventual cost?

I mean, I know nuclear is a potentially hazardous business, and needs closely regulated. I just... staggering labyrinth... government bureaucracy... my head hurts.

Seriously... is there anything about the Callaway extension that this many pages and this much time might catch, that 600 pages and 10-12 months wouldn't? If they've been working on the document for 3 years, does that mean that some of it's information will be 5 years (25% of renewal life) old by the time the process is completed? Who's doing what, and why does it take that long?

I scream hopelessly into the void:

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 3, 2012 | 9:21 p.m.

I wouldn't touch this one with a ten foot pole!

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith January 4, 2012 | 6:21 a.m.


Yes, seriously. It's really that awful.

If situations like this were confined only to nuclear production of electrical energy it would still be bad, but they are not. Paperwork and delays for other means of energy production can be onerous as well.

But no problem - for me. I won't be around in 2044, or even far sooner than that, when the electrical brownouts and blackouts begin to occur with some degree of regularity*. Maybe you guys can burn all that paperwork to create a little light and heat.

Meanwhile, the ignorant villagers have picked up their pitchforks and scythes and, also carrying burning torches, are marching towards the evil nuclear castle.

[Have I made my point, Frank?]

*-They're fun! You'll love them. I've lived with them outside the United States.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 4, 2012 | 9:16 a.m.

Yes, Ellis. "Paperwork and delays for other means of energy production can be onerous as well." On a Mar 31 about five years ago I read the paper before we left the FL Keys. Everyone knows about the "18 mile stretch" of two lane highway between Homestead and Key Largo. Slow going, but the way "Keys people" want it. FLDOT had planned construction for a concrete median dividing the lanes on the stretch because of the lives being lost too often due to head on collisions. The news article told of the 5 years of planning this project, which only called for enough more right of way to install shoulders to the pavement while installing the median and the studies having been done because of the knowledge that every I and T must be dotted and crossed to prevent opposition. Having seemingly done their job, promoting safety while giving every consideration to the environment the Dept had moved necessary equipment to the site ready to begin on the morning I have described. Sierra Club and some lesser groups had obtained an injunction to stop the project until as they saw it, even more study was needed.

They weren't able to stop it. Wonder tho, how much additional cost their action added. When we returned next year much had been done and the next, it was finished.

Mr. Fogle knows who and what causes these stoppages, not only regarding energy but every other sign of progress and development for our country. Did I touch it?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 4, 2012 | 10:29 a.m.

I wonder how often "paperwork" just causes folks to not even try. Happened to me once when I was trying to buy 325 acres of pasture/forest; I wanted to zone 10 acres along a road corridor to put my small business while legally obligating myself to NOT develop the remaining 315 acres for a minimum of 15 years...i.e., keep it pristine (this was a no-brainer for me...I liked that land and had no intentions of EVER developing it).

You'da thought I was trying to build a dam. So, I quit.

Oh....1-2 years after I quit, the land was sold, subdivided and now has houses.

Too bad. For the land.

About the only things I can think of harder to open than a nuke are a new dam or a new mine. Especially a new dam. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to build a big lake in Columbia or along Cedar Creek?

(Report Comment)

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