Gov. Jay Nixon headed a summit at the Univeristy of Missouri in Columbia to further discussions about creating small modular nuclear reactors in Missouri.

Nixon has been working with Ameren Missouri and Westinghouse leaders, as well as legislators, business and education leaders since April to compete for grant money from the Department of Energy. Nixon said today others competing for the grant money don’t have near the resources or leadership Missouri does.

“Creating this new generation of nuclear reactors will require extensive research, advanced engineering and outstanding works,” he says. “We offer all three right here in Missouri.”

He’s appointed members of the legislature, Department of Economic Development, Missouri Chamber of Commerce, business and education leaders to a task force to push the project forward.

“I am forming our Local Government Task Force, which will include the presiding commissioners of Boone, Callaway, Cole, Osage, and Phelps counties,” he says. “Those counties include the project area, and two of our world-class research institutions.”

He says the University of Missouri-Columbia, Missouri University of Science and Technology at Rolla, and Linn State Technical College all offer the education needed to put the right minds into this newest of nuclear energy production.

He says Missouri is uniquely positioned to be a global marketer of the new generation nuclear reactors, both geographically and from a innovation, manufacturing and marketing perspective. He quotes CNN Money as telling Detroit to “move over,” that business and manufacturing are “sweet on Missouri” for its affordability and business-friendly environment. Nixon calls this project a “historic endeavor.”

Ameren Missouri CEO Warner Baxter agrees, saying this is the jobs package Missouri needs.

The U.S. Department of Energy is expected to announce grant recipients this fall, which would provide about half the funding needed. Ameren and Missouri’s other utility companies as well as Westinghouse would contribute funding for the project as well.