JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri House members have endorsed a proposal to let utilities charge electric customers for some costs of developing a nuclear power plant before it's built.
The House voted 121-21 Thursday to add the nuclear plant issue to a separate bill, which wasn't put to a final vote. The legislative session ends May 13.
A voter-approved law from 1976 bars Missouri utilities from passing the costs of building a nuclear plant along to customers before it starts producing electricity.
Utilities are asking this year for the right to charge customers the cost of a securing an early site permit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Supporters say the legislation is needed to make expansion of nuclear power an option in Missouri. Critics have raised concerns about consumer protections.