Nearly 300 state and local business and government leaders joined Gov. Jay Nixon and senior leaders from Westinghouse Electric Company, Ameren, and the University of Missouri to discuss the impact of developing Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology in Missouri. Missouri Chamber President Dan Mehan facilitated the panel discussion among legislative and business leaders closely connected to the potential project.
“This public-private partnership could position Missouri as an energy hub for the Midwest and is an extraordinary economic development opportunity for our state,” Mehan said. “Energy is a vital key to future economic strength for our state and nation. We are pleased that Missouri could be home to this project, which will provide sustainable, clean energy and thousands of jobs to support it.”
Ameren and Westinghouse Electric Co. are teaming up to seek more than $450 million in federal money to license and develop small-scale nuclear reactors at the Callaway plant outside of Fulton. The small reactor projects have appeal because they can be manufactured at a central plant and shipped around the world. By contrast, building a full-scale nuclear reactor is a far more difficult process that must be done on site and takes years. In addition, the process includes an enormous amount of red tape and legislative hurdles.
Missouri is well positioned to leverage this alternate SMR approach.
“Missouri is a frontrunner for this project for several reasons. Ameren’s impressive experience in operating a nuclear plant is one reason Westinghouse chose Missouri as the site for this innovative project,” Mehan said. “Another important factor was the support from state and local government and the strong alliance of other electricity suppliers. That is why we are here today – to further show our commitment to this project that could play a significant role in our energy future.”
Other important benefits that set our state apart from others vying for the funding include Missouri’s central location and strong university nuclear engineering programs.
“Missouri has more than just economic reasons to be committed to this new industry,” Mehan said. “Capturing a new industry could also mean new tax dollars for Missouri at a time when they are most needed.”