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Columbia Missourian

Missouri loses out on sought-after nuclear project

By The Associated Press
November 20, 2012 | 5:23 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — A highly touted plan by Ameren Missouri and Westinghouse to design and build a series of next-generation nuclear reactors at the utility's Callaway County plant has lost out to a similar plan in Tennessee.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced Tuesday that Babcock and Wilcox of Charlotte, N.C., will receive the federal government's five-year grant to develop small modular reactors in Tennessee. The cost-sharing award has previously been estimated to exceed $450 million.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and other political, civic and business leaders eagerly anticipated the federal investment. Nixon, a Democrat, had said the grant could turn Missouri's nuclear industry into the equivalent of the auto industry's Detroit.

Babcock and Wilcox will work with Bechtel and the Tennessee Valley Authority on the project.