Ameren-Missouri expects to learn next month if it will get at least $150,000,000 federal dollars to help it develop small modular nuclear reactors in Missouri. The energy department approved funding for a Tennessee consortium to develop SMRs, as they’re called, as last year—a disappointment to Ameren. But Ameren and its partner, Westinghouse, have quickly filed for second-round funding.
Ameren Nuclear Power Director Scott Bond recently spent time on a nuclear submarine with familiar technology. “(The sub) was built with the same modular construction techniques that we’re talking about building these small modular reactors,” he says.
In fact, the sub has the same kind of reactor as the big Callaway nuclear plant, Bond says the Callaway Nuclear Plant is about ten to fifteen times larger than the submarine’s power plant. The Small Modular Reactor would produce four to five times the power generated by the sub’s power plant.
University of Missouri campuses in Rolla and Columbia have joined the consortium. They’ll focus on creating computer-aided engineering tools and develop technology, research, and materials.