FULTON - AmerenUE filed an application Monday with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license to build and operate a new nuclear plant in Missouri, spokesman Mike Cleary said.
As of Monday afternoon, the commission had not yet released a copy of AmerenUE's application, which seeks a combined construction and operating license for a 1,600-megawatt nuclear power plant next to the utility's existing nuclear plant in Callaway County.
Commission spokesman Scott Burnell said that while the 8,000-page application was received, it won't be released for "several days" since it needs to be transferred into the agency's computer system first.
The utility hasn't decided whether to build the plant. Cleary said earlier this month that the timing of the application "basically saves our place in line, so to speak, for certain tax credits" under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
At a July 9 meeting in Fulton, Joe Colaccino, chief of the commission's division in charge of reviewing the proposed plant's design, said the commission expects the review to take about 2½ years.
If the plant is built, the utility projects it would need to be online around 2018, Thomas Voss, president and chief executive officer of AmerenUE, said in a news release issued on Monday.
AmerenUE representatives had previously said the utility intended to make the decision whether to build the plant by the middle of 2011, but Cleary said Monday that the timeline is a bit more uncertain.
"We just want to say within the next few years," Cleary said. The uncertainty, he said, is based on how long the construction and operating license application process is going to take.