Unplanned Shutdown & Elevated Radioactive Levels at Ameren Missouri’s Callaway 1 Nuclear Reactor Containment Building
St. Louis, MO: Earlier today, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued an event notice for the unplanned shutdown of the Callaway 1 nuclear reactor, which is owned and operated by Ameren Missouri. The NRC notes that radiation is above normal in the containment building.
Today is the third time the Callaway 1 nuclear reactor has undergone an unplanned shutdown within the last two years; on July 26, 2013 there was a fire near a turbine and on December 23, 2014 the turbine tripped. The Callaway 1 nuclear reactor also leaked radioactive Tritium and Colbalt-60 above the Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water guidelines within the last year.
“We expect unplanned shutdowns and other problems to increase as the nuclear reactor ages much like you expect your car to have more problems as it ages,” said Ed Smith with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. “The event today appears to be part of a trend, which we would expect from an aging nuclear reactor or any other type of aging complex machinery.”
INITIATION OF PLANT SHUTDOWN DUE TO RCS LEAKAGE
“On July 23, 2015 at 0115 [CDT], Callaway Plant initiated a shutdown required by Technical Specifications (TS). At 2139 [CDT] on July 22, 2015, TS 3.4.13 Condition A was entered due to unidentified RCS leakage being in excess of the 1 gpm TS limit. The leak was indicated by an increase in containment radiation readings, increasing sump levels, and decreasing levels in the Volume Control tank (VCT).
“A containment entry identified a steam plume; due to personnel safety the exact location of the leak inside the containment building could not be determined.
“At this time radiation levels inside [the] containment are stable and slightly above normal. There have been no releases from the plant above normal levels.
“The [NRC] Senior Resident Inspector was notified.”