A proposal has emerged to build a second nuclear power plant in Missouri. It has the backing of Governor Nixon, but many questions remain to be answered before Callaway II can be built.
Nixon backs a proposal for a coalition of Missouri utilities to join with Ameren Missouri to build a second nuclear power plant in Callaway County near Fulton. Concerns have arisen over whether the proposal contains enough consumer protections. Nixon says his office is working on the parameters in a memo of understanding between the coalition and Ameren.
“We want to continue to protect consumers and rates, but we want to put Missouri is a much stronger situation here and we don’t want to allow this consortium to get recovery unless they’re successful,” says Nixon. “I think those are the key parts of this deal and we’ll work to make sure the details are there as the legislation moves forward.”
A bill filed in the state Senate contains a cap on state costs of $40 million. Critics call it a soft cap. Utilities can exceed the amount if they can prove to the Public Service Commission that additional costs are prudent.
“You would like to have some sort of cap number in there. I think that’s about what the number should be,” according to Nixon. “I think that the process will continue to focus on making sure we’ve got consumer protections in there.”
Nixon is open to adding a provision to better fund the Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility cases before the PSC.