Vessel head journeys to Callaway

13 June 2014

A new reactor vessel closure head has completed a five-week journey by sea, river and road to arrive at the Callaway nuclear power plant in Missouri, USA.

The vessel head cruised the Mississippi River for over 320 km (Image: Areva Inc)

The 180 tonne component, which is over 9 metres tall, was ordered from Areva by Ameren Missouri in 2009. It was manufactured by Spain's Equipos Nucleares SA (Ensa) at Maliaño, from where it began its trans-Atlantic journey in April. The reactor head was shipped in a special container to protect the component itself and the control rod drive mechanisms installed inside it.

The journey was completed by road (Image: Areva Inc)

After crossing the ocean, the vessel head was loaded onto a barge and travelled from the port of New Orleans via the Tombigibee, Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The final 11 km of its journey to the Callaway plant took more than four hours by road on a heavy equipment transporter. The vessel head arrived at the site on 30 May.

Callaway is a 1215 MWe pressurized water reactor that has been in operation since 1984 and Ameren senior vice president and chief nuclear officer Fadi Diya said that the investments the company is making at the plant "will help maintain reliability and provide cleaner energy for our customers for the next 20 years." The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is in the process of considering an application to renew the plant's operating licence, which currently runs until 2024, for an additional 20 years.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News