Nuclear Reactor Brings 800 New Jobs: How Many Are Local?
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Ameren Missouri's Callaway County Nuclear plant is currently offline and shut down for a routine refueling.
The refueling occurs every 18 months and takes the plant offline to be refueled as well as to undergo routine maintenance. Senior Director of Operations Support at Ameren Missouri Luke Graessle said "During a refueling outage we refuel the reactor and this time we're going to replace 89 out of the 193 fuel assemblies. So that's the primary reason for shutting the plant down. But while the plant is shut down we also do a lot of maintenance activities."
The maintenance activities that are taken place have nothing to do with the blast that happened two weeks ago at the plant.
"The blast was off of the main property in a side field and these activities have nothing to do with the blast and the injuries that occurred. These maintenance checks and safety checks are routine every refueling we have," said Graessle.
The refueling brings 800 jobs temporary jobs to Callaway County but the main question is who is working those 800 jobs.
Callaway County business owners like Bruce Meyer of Meyer Oil Company said he would expect for them to be all local employees,
"From my understanding there are 800 jobs being brought to mid-Missouri and myself I would rather see them draw as many people as they can from the local area. Hopefully use local contractors to do the jobs and whatever they need. I really feel that we have contractors in our area, as far as Jeff City and Columbia that could do this work and keep the jobs local," said Meyer.
When asked about where the 800 workers are coming from Graessle said, "Well the vast majority of the workers are from the Missouri area, and the central United States, some are very local, Callaway County, Cole County, Boone County. But if I were to break it down I would say only about one-third of the workers are local. The rest are from the Missouri area and the rest of the United States."
KOMU 8 news reached out to Bruce Hackman of the Fulton Area Development Corporation and he or his office did not return our calls.