Ameren and Westinghouse presented their plans to build small nuclear reactors to the state’s Public Service Commission. Ameren and Westinghouse are applying for federal grant money from the Department of Energy — $452 million – to build new generation nuclear reactors in Missouri and ship them to other markets globally. They’re called SMR’s: small nuclear reactors.
Ameren President and CEO Warner Baxter tells the commission that nuclear energy is what’s best for Missouri in its long-term interest, and it’s going to be what keeps rates low for Missouri utility consumers.
He says Westinghouse is a global leader in leading technology … and Ameren’s reputation for nuclear excellence is well known. He says the Callaway nuclear plant is know world-wide for being a top producer.
Baxter says if the Department of Energy funding doesn’t come through, it doesn’t have to mean the end of this collaboration. However, he says at this point, no one’s bound to a formal deal either.
The Public Service Commission does not have any authority over whether to approve the project, but it does oversee the rates charged to Missouri utility consumers.
The Department of Energy grants are to be announced this fall. Westinghouse leaders are confident Missouri will be chosen to receive the funding.
Joseph Zwetolitz, president of the Americas division of Westinghouse, also pointed out the benefit of SMR’s being safer than traditional nuclear reactors. He tells the commission SMR’s are almost entirely underground, keeping them less vulnerable to attacks or natural disasters.
Baxter says the project would move Missouri’s economy forward, creating thousands of jobs for the engineering, manufacture and operation of the reactors.
On a separate note, Steve Stoll of Festus joined the commission for the meeting as its newly sworn in member.
Stoll was appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon last week. He is a former state representative and senator.
To view the PowerPoint presentation shown to the PSC by Ameren and Westinghouse, CLICK HERE.