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Environmental group appeals nuclear plant license renewal

(courtesy Ameren)

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment filed a federal lawsuit Thursday over a federal agency’s renewal for Ameren’s Callaway Nuclear Power Plant.

In March, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission renewedAmeren’soperating license for the plant through 2044. The previous license does not expire until 2024.

The Coalition for the Environment is already a part of another federal suit filed last fall against the NRC. It claims the agency’s rules regarding long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel violates federal laws.

The attorney representing the Coalition, Diane Curran, said the latest appeal is meant to ensure that if the first lawsuit is decided in their favor, it will apply to Callaway.

"It’s not yet over with respect to Calloway because of our pending appeal," Curran said. "You can’t say Calloway is fine while our appeal is pending."

The NRC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But last month agency officials said in a press release that its staff completed all environmental and safety reviews for renewing the license and that Ameren met all requirements.

Ameren Missouri said in a statement that the utility is reviewing the appeal. It went on to say that Ameren officials are confident the NRC will stand by its decision and that renewing the license will benefit the utility's customers.

Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman

Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.