Governor Jay Nixon (D) has announced the formation of a task force to help Missouri land a federal grant to build small modular nuclear reactors, or SMR’s.
The task force is made up of officials from counties adjacent to Ameren Missouri’s Callaway County nuclear plant, which would build the reactors in a joint project with Westinghouse. Nixon says it’s important to have input from local-level officials.
The two companies have teamed up to pursue up to $452 million from Washington to build up to five Small Modular Reactors, or SMR’s, at Ameren’s Callaway County plant. Joseph Zwetolitz is President of the Americas division of Westinghouse. He says SMR’s would be safer than the traditional nuclear reactor.
“This reactor is almost entirely underground, which provides an additional level of safety, with regards to potential postulated accidents, deliberate attacks, tornadoes, those kind of things," Zwetolitz said.
Westinghouse officials say they’ll apply for $452 million in federal funding. Plans are to build at least one and possibly five SMR's alongside Callaway’s current reactor, and to build more SMR’s at the site for export. Governor Jay Nixon (D) described the economic potential as enormous.