Energy companies seek to develop reactors in Missouri

Thursday, April 19, 2012 | 3:51 p.m. CDT; updated 5:04 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 19, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — Westinghouse Electric Company and Ameren Missouri are seeking federal energy funds to develop small reactors that would spur additional nuclear energy production in central Missouri.

Company officials and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced the plans Thursday in Jefferson City. St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri operates the state's lone nuclear reactor about 25 miles northeast of the state Capitol in Callaway County.

Under the plan, Westinghouse will apply for up to $452 million in investment funds from the U.S. Department of Energy. Ameren then would apply for licenses that would allow the partnership to build up to five of the smaller nuclear reactors in Callaway County.

The reactors would boost energy production at the Callaway site, and officials say the technology used to develop the reactors could be exported to other countries.

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Ellis Smith April 19, 2012 | 11:47 p.m.

Define "smaller" reactor. For the record, all U.S. nuclear reactors, whether they generate electrical power or are used only for research purposes, are rated according to the amount of electrical power they can potentially produce.

Both of University of Missouri System's research nuclear reactors have NRC-assigned power ratings.

So what's the power rating of the proposed "smaller" reactors?

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