--UPDATE, Monday, August 5, 2013-- Over a week has passed since a fire shut down the reactor at the Ameren plant. Officials from the Callaway Energy center told KRCG Monday they are still in the repair stages and it could be weeks before the reactor is back in service.
ORIGINAL STORY-An official at the Callaway Energy Center told KRCG 13 News Sunday other Ameren plants will satisfy the state's energy needs but refused to say when the state's only nuclear reactor would go back into service.
Cleveland Reasoner, the facility's Vice President of Engineering, said Ameren's other power plants throughout the state would make up for Friday night's shutdown of this reactor about 11 miles southeast of Fulton. The reactor currently covers about 20 percent of the state's electrical needs. Reasoner refused to say how long it would take to get the reactor back into service, citing concerns over the effect it would have on electricity prices.
The reactor shut down late Friday night after a fire outside the turbine building next to the reactor. Reasoner said an electrical arc caused a fire in a duct that carries power from the reactor out to the grid. He said the reactor shut down automatically once computers sensed electricity was no longer flowing onto the grid. He said firefighters needed about 30 minutes to put the fire out. Reasoner said the plant has just one turbine, so it has no other way of delivering power.
The fire happened at a spot well away from the reactor itself, so Reasoner said there was no danger of radiation being released.