“Unusual event” in Fulton
On July 26, at 11:49 p.m., the Ameren Missouri Callaway Energy Center declared an “Unusual Event” due to a small fire in the turbine building. The fire was extinguished, and the center is currently out of service in accordance with safety protocols and procedures. At no time did the situation threaten the public or nearby communities. No one was injured.
There was no release of radioactivity to the environment above normal operating limits. All appropriate federal, state and local agencies have been notified. Ameren Missouri and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have started an investigation. An assessment is underway to determine when Callaway can return to service. As a result of the fire, the facility shut down as designed through the multiple safety layers that are in place. The turbine building is located in a non-nuclear part of the facility.
The term “Unusual Event” was established by the NRC to describe a relatively minor occurrence at a nuclear power plant that could reduce the overall level of safety. During such an event, no public action is advised or necessary.
It is the least significant of four emergency classifications established by the NRC. The other categories, in order of severity, are “Alert,” “Site Area Emergency” and “General Emergency.”
The Callaway Energy Center, which is located near Fulton, Mo., typically generates about 20 percent of the electricity supplied to Ameren Missouri’s 1.2 million customers. While out of service, the energy it produces will be replaced by other Ameren Missouri energy centers.