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Wednesday
Jul312013

Callaway atomic reactor remains closed following fire in central MO

NRC file photo of Callaway atomic reactorAs reported by KMOV TV-4 St. Louis, Ameren's Callaway atomic reactor, located in Fulton, Missouri, 90 miles west and upwind of St. Louis, remains shutdown, following a fire. Beyond Nuclear board member Kay Drey, a longtime watchdog on Callaway, was interviewed. She pointed out that design, construction, and operational errors have all occurred at Callaway, and that, while fires do happen, you sure don't want them to happen at atomic reactors.

KMOV then questioned Ameren's characterization of the fire as an "ununsual event," pointing out that a number of "unusual events" have occurred at Callaway in the past decade. For example, last April, three workers were burned by an electrical flash in the switchyard.

Kay has penned numerous pamphlets, including one written for nuclear workers' ("Know Your Risks, Know Your Rights"), as well as one ("Routine Radioactive Releases from Nuclear Power Plants") containing a close-up photo of the rooftop vent at Callaway for the unfiltered atmospheric discharge of radioactive gases such as tritium, as well as noble gases krypton and xenon (which radioactively decay into long-lasting, biologically active isotopes of strontium and cesium).

As covered by regional and even national media, Kay has also been actively concerned, as are many others, about a "nuclear fire" of a different kind: an underground landfill fire, inching ever closer to a decades-old radioactive waste dump at West Lake Landfill, just upstream from St. Louis drinking water intakes. The crisis continues to garner headlines on a regular basis, as government officials at all levels, under pressure from area residents, struggle with what to do on this, the 40 year mark of radioactive waste first being buried there. Kay has long led efforts to have the radioactive wastes removed from the Missouri River floodplain.