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Ameren drops plans for second nuclear reactor

Ameren Missouri's Callaway Nuclear plant
(Ameren Missouri)
Ameren Missouri's Callaway Nuclear plant

Ameren is not moving forward with plans for a second reactor at its Callaway Nuclear Power Plant in mid-Missouri near Fulton.
Ameren's application for a second reactor at Callaway was filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2008.  But funding issues hampered the project. State lawmakers have balked at the utility's efforts to allow Ameren to charge customers for the facility as it was being built.
During a conference call Friday morning with analysts, Chief Executive Officer Warner Baxter cited several reasons for the decision to pull the plug.

"Recent changes in vender support, the licensing efforts at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, our assessment of long-term capacity needs, declining costs of alternative generation technologies and the regulatory framework in Missouri," Baxter said.

But Baxter said the utility still supports the power generation technology.

"We continue to believe nuclear power must be an important, clean energy source for our company and country as evidenced by the 20-year license extension we received this past March for our Callaway Energy Center," Baxter told analysts.

The decision follows the commission's move earlier this year to renew the operating license for the plant through 2044. That approval is being challenged in federal court by the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. 

Wayne Pratt is the Broadcast Operations Manager and former morning newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.