April 2009, AmerenUE officially suspend reactor proposal after Missouri General Assembly votes down legislation that would have allowed the utility to charge ratepayers upfront for the cost of the new reactor.
On July 24th, 2008, AmerenUE submitted an application for a construction and operation license (COL) with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). If approved, AmerenUE would have been cleared to build a second nuclear unit in Callaway County, Missouri at a site 25 miles West of Jefferson City, near Fulton. Construction could begin as early as 2012.
UniStar (a Constellation Energy and EDF company) assisted in the preparation of the COL application for Callaway-2. UniStar’s reference COL application was developed for its Calvert Cliffs-3 project in Maryland. AmerenUE did not intend to follow the full extent of UniStar’s business model, whereby UniStar would also operate the plant. The new unit would have been fully owned and operated by Ameren Corporation and AmerenUE, respectively. UniStar has also prepared COL applications in New York and Pennsylvania.
To view the AmerenUE’s application, click here.
The proposed reactor, an AREVA-U.S. Evolutionary Power Reactor (EPR) being offered on the U.S. market through UniStar Nuclear Energy, has been under review since February 2008. The NRC aims to review the proposal in six phases and to be completed by May 2011, giving a final ruling sometime thereafter.
Ameren was seeking to finance the project through a pay-as-you-go system, which would shift the construction cost of this multi-billion project onto Missouri ratepayers. To do so, legislators would have to overturn a 1972 law that was passed with the intent to protect utility customers from being charged for the construction costs of power plants. Additionally, AmerenUE applied for a taxpayer backed federal loan guarantee. Without these financing systems that put the ratepayer or taxpayer at risk, AmerenUE would be unable to collect proper funding for the second Callaway reactor. A grassroots organization, Missourians for Safe Energy, actively opposes the plant.