nuclear

Globally, there are thousands of nuclear weapons hidden away and ready to go, just awaiting the right electrical signal. They are, writes investigative reporter Eric Schlosser, a collective death wish — barely suppressed. Every one is an accident waiting to happen, a potential act of mass murder, he says.

"When it comes to nuclear command and control, anything less than perfection is unacceptable because of how devastatingly powerful these weapons are," Schlosser tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

Ameren’s Callaway nuclear plant near Fulton is in its 30th year of operation. It has a 40-year license and is in the process of getting it renewed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC.

Missouri Coalition for the Environment is heading an effort to stop it from being re-licensed.

One of their main concerns is spent, or used, radioactive rods that are left over after making power. When they’re taken out of the reactor, they’re still extremely hot and need to be stored in a cooling facility.

After weeks of being out of commission, Ameren's Callaway nuclear energy plant is back in service.

Diplomatic distress over Iran’s nuclear program is reaching a fever pitch.

Daniel Longar

Note: The following report was originally released in May 2010.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials and documents describe the Callaway Nuclear Power Plant just south of Fulton, MO as having a safety conscious work environment. However, since 2005, there have been at least 14 documented allegations of discrimination against employees for reporting safety concerns at the Callaway plant, according to commission reports.

By Patrick Sweet and Rebecca Townsend