Ameren Missouri recently worked with a nuclear security consulting firm to develop a plan to improve the protection strategy for Callaway Energy Center. This plan proposed relocating current responders to four new defensive positions on elevated towers while providing an opportunity to reduce overall security force headcount. This revised strategy was presented to Ameren executive leadership by Callaway’s Site Security leadership for approval. Due to the significant cost of the proposed changes, the Ameren executives asked that an independent firm validate the proposed upgrades for Callaway.
Based on recommendations, Callaway Site Security management selected USA Nuclear to perform this assessment. USA Nuclear sent Steven D. Root, P.E. and Douglas Abell to perform the validation assessment, utilizing their more than 50 years of combined nuclear security operations, engineering and project management experience. Among their numerous areas of expertise, the team specializes in nuclear power plant (NPP) protection strategy development, implementation, and optimization.
The team conducted the protective strategy assessment at Callaway Energy Center in July 2021. The assessment consisted of a protection strategy review, review of proposed changes, and site walkdowns. The conclusion of the team was that the initial concept of the proposed strategy changes would be effective in improving performance. In addition, the team identified and provided several recommendations to enhance the proposed strategy, strengthen defensive posture, and optimize performance.
These recommendations included:
- Specific positioning of new defensive positions
- Defensive position designs
- Additional and enhanced delay features
- Improved communications protocols for routine tasks
David Lee and Russel Waymire of Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) accompanied the USA Nuclear team to the Callaway Energy Center to observe the assessment. While David and Russel have conducted assessments of nuclear facilities abroad through their work with the NNSA’s Office of International Nuclear Security Engineering (INSE), this was their first time visiting a domestic commercial NPP. They were impressed with the level of safety and security at the site and gained several insights on NPP security operations throughout the duration of the assessment. Both were able to attend site tours, participate in walkdowns and view security defensive positions. David and Russel were appreciative for the opportunity to experience first-hand, the level of security maintained at a U.S. NPP. This experience will assist them in their future international work with the NNSA.