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An electrical failure shut down an Ameren Corp. nuclear plant in central Missouri, but the company and federal regulators said there was no risk to the public.

An “unexpected main turbine trip” caused the shutdown at 12:22 a.m. at Ameren’s Callaway nuclear power plant near Fulton, MO, said officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

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The issue was strictly electrical, said Mark McLachlan, Ameren’s senior director of engineering at the plant.

“Some of the monitoring equipment detected an issue and automatically shut the plant down,” McLachlan said.

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The electrical workings of the plant are separate from the nuclear reactor. McLachlan said no radiation released and there was never a threat to employees or the public.

NRC spokeswoman Lara Uselding said inspectors work at each nuclear plant in the U.S., and an inspector was at the Callaway plant by 2 a.m. She said the cause of the shutdown is still under investigation and it isn’t clear when the plant will start generating electricity again.

Ameren, based in St. Louis, provides electrical power to customers in Missouri and Illinois. McLachlan said customers will see no impact because other Ameren power plants will compensate.

McLachlan said shutdowns are rare at the Callaway plant and this was the first in more than two years.

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