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Last updated 11:08PM ET
September 21, 2021
St. Louis Public Radio News
St. Louis Public Radio News
Critics oppose deal to pursue new nuclear reactor in Mo.
Callaway plant in Fulton. (Ameren Missouri company photo)
(St. Louis Public Radio) - A deal announced last week to pursue a second nuclear power plant in Missouri is beginning to draw criticism.

The agreement between Governor Jay Nixon, some lawmakers, utilities, and union leaders would have customers cover the cost of the site permit for a second reactor at Ameren Missouri's Callaway County Plant; but only if the site is approved.

Joan Bray chairs the Consumers Council of Missouri and has spent the past eight years in the State Senate.

"As the governor's office has said, this is a first step...well, that implies a second, third and fourth step," Bray said, "I don't believe that the risk should be transferred to the rate payers."

Bray said that the proposal could lead to another effort to repeal the state's Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) law. The law forbids utility companies from billing customers for the construction costs of new power plants while they're being built.

Missouri lawmakers failed to pass a bill in 2009 that would have allowed exemptions to the CWIP law.

Meanwhile, Erin Noble with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment said that wind and solar energy would be better investments than nuclear power.

"Both of which [are] dramatically cheaper than nuclear and don't have the nuclear waste issue, and can be actually implemented today and put Missourians to work today," Noble said.

Noble also called the provision allowing utilities to recoup the site application costs from customers a "slippery slope" toward repealing the CWIP law.

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