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Ameren Missouri & Westinghouse passed over on federal funding for SMR research & production

Ameren Missouri
Photo courtesy of Ameren Missouri
The Callaway Plant is one of 104 nuclear plants in the U.S. and 429 nuclear plants in the world.

Ameren Missouri and Westinghouse found out today they were not chosen to receive funding from the US Department of Energy for a project to build Small Modular Reactors at Ameren’s Callaway County plant in Fulton.

The two companies were competing with at least three other proposals from across the country for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants. Warren Wood is Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for Ameren Missouri. He says Ameren is disappointed, but says the Department of Energy only awarded half of the money to the Babcock and Wilcox company out of Tennessee. So he says there’s still hope.

“So at this point in time they’ve announced one of them. We’re waiting to find out more of the details of the remaining investment levels that may be available and how we go about getting lined up for that competition. Ideally we would have liked to be the first chosen vendor, but Babcock & Wilcox got that and now we’re moving into the next phase,” Wood said.

Wood says the DOE originally said it would fund up to two proposals for research and production of the SMR’s, and it only funded one for now.

SMR’s are much smaller than normal nuclear reactors and are housed almost entirely underground. When the proposal was announced in June, Ameren said it planned to build up to five SMRs in Fulton, which would create hundreds of jobs.

Ryan Famuliner joined KBIA in February 2011. Ryan previously worked as a general assignment reporter and videographer at WNDU-TV in South Bend, Ind. and as a reporter and anchor at the Missourinet radio network in Jefferson City, MO. He’s reported nationally on NPR and WNYC’s The Takeaway.
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