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AmerenUE moving forward with nuclear reactor application

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO –
The St. Louis-based utility AmerenUE is continuing its application to build a second nuclear power plant in mid-Missouri, despite lack of funds to pay for it.

When CWIP legislation failed to advance in the General Assembly last month, Ameren CEO Tom Voss said UE would "suspend its efforts to build the nuclear plant."

But, spokesman Mike Cleary now says Ameren is still pursuing its application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

"All we're saying right now is that we want to continue the review while we fully evaluate all of our options," said Cleary.

Cleary now says AmerenUE is trying to recoup $75 million in application and materials costs.

Attorneys for the Missouri Coalition for the Environment and Missourians for Safe Energy oppose the application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Attorney Henry Robertson says without CWIP Ameren can't afford to build the plant and therefore its application should be suspended.

"They are still going ahead, even though they've said all along that they can't build the plant unless the get CWIP," said Robertson. "But now they've given up on CWIP, so what is their justification for continuing to ask the NRC to review their application and eventually approve it."

A spokesman for AmerenUE said one possibility involves selling the company's option to build a second Calloway County reactor to another electric utility.

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