Nuclear plant debate heats up
Legislation has bipartisan support; foes’ robo calls, advertisements begin
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sen. Mike Kehoe’s first piece of legislation is facing a barrage of television and radio ads, and robocalls, opposing the bill to help pave the way for a second nuclear plant in Missouri.
The freshman Republican seems unfazed: “I’ve met with those folks and certainly I want to keep an open discussion,” Kehoe said, adding he’s willing to consider changes suggested by the opponents.
Already, the bill and the plan for a second plant have gained some bipartisan support, including backing from Gov. Jay Nixon. “The sooner the process is started, the sooner our state will reap the rewards,” the governor said in November.
The proposed legislation is being pushed by a Missouri energy consortium that includes Ameren Missouri. Ameren spokesman Mike Cleary said the company believes that the current location of its Callaway nuclear plant is “a very desirable location for another plant.”
The Fair Energy Rate Action Fund (FERAF) has opposed the bill with robocalls and a 30-second television ad that has appeared across Ameren Missouri’s customer base. “Big energy is at it again in Jeff City,” the ad starts. “Their nuclear permit? The facts: You pay for it now, even though they may never build a plant.”
Kehoe’s bill, SB50, would let an electric company recover expenses for getting an early site permit from the federal government. Customers would see the cost reflected in their bills after the permit is given, but before the plant is built.
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Callaway Nuclear Generating Station
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Commission date||December 19, 1984|
|Licence expiration||October 18, 2024|
|Power station information|
|Generation units||1 General Electric|
|Power generation information|
|Annual generation||9,372 GW·h|
|As of 2008-11-14|
Power OutputAccording to Ameren, Callaway produces about 19 percent of AmerenUE's power. In 2001, Callaway set a plant record for capacity utilization, producing 101.1 percent of its rated electrical output, ranking it among the world's top reactors, according to the Energy Information Administration. The plant produces 1,190 megawatts of net power, and has run continuously for over 500 days between refuelings. Callaway is one of 26 nuclear power plants in the United States to achieve a continuous run of over 500 days.
On November 19, 2005, its workers completed the replacement of all four steam generators in 63 days, 13 hours, setting a world record for a four-loop plant.
 Cooling TowerThe cooling tower at Callaway is 553 feet tall, 77 feet shorter than the St Louis Gateway Arch. It is 430 feet wide at the base, and is constructed from reinforced concrete. It cools approximately 585,000 gallons of water per minute when the plant is operating at full capacity, and about 15,000 gallons of water are lost out the top from evaporation. Another 5,000 gallons of water are sent to the Missouri River as "blowdown" to flush solids from the cooling tower basin. All water lost through evaporation or blowdown is replaced with water from the river, located five miles from the plant. The temperature of the water going into the cooling tower is 125° Fahrenheit, and the tower cools it to 95°.
 Unit 2On July 28, 2008, AmerenUE submitted an application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), seeking a Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) for a potential second unit. According to Thomas R. Voss, president and chief executive officer of AmerenUE, "Given projections for a nearly 30 percent increase in demand for power in Missouri in the next two decades, we believe we will need to build a large generating plant to be on line in the 2018–2020 timeframe." AmerenUE is considering building a 1,600-MW Areva Evolutionary Power Reactor (EPR).
In April 2009, AmerenUE canceled plans to build a second reactor at its mid-Missouri nuclear power plant. A key stumbling block was a law barring utilities from charging customers the costs of a new power plant before it starts producing electricity. The new nuclear plant would have cost at least $6 billion.
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