Lawmakers to consider helping Ameren with nuclear plant expansion

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri's largest electric utility is considering building a second nuclear reactor in central Missouri, and that means lawmakers will be considering how to pay for it when their new session starts Wednesday.

The issue focuses on billions of dollars of economic development and a law approved overwhelmingly by voters in 1976 that bars investor-owned utilities from adding the cost of new a plant to electric bills until the facility is operating.

St. Louis-based AmerenUE wants the measure repealed. Consumer advocates call it a necessary protection.

That leaves lawmakers caught between approving a major construction project and protecting power customers from a rate hike.

Environmentalists oppose expanding the Callaway Nuclear Plant near Fulton, Mo.