Barry Hart, CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, joined Gov. Jay Nixon and representatives from Ameren Missouri and Westinghouse Electric Company to announce an agreement with Westinghouse to exclusively support the company’s application for the Department of Energy's (DOE) Small Modular Reactors (SMR) investment funds of up to $452 million. The investment funding, announced by the DOE on March 22, will support first-of-its-kind engineering, design certifications and operating licenses for up to two SMR designs over five years.
Westinghouse expects to submit the investment fund application by mid-May. A final decision on awarding the investment funds is expected in the summer of 2012. All of Missouri's electric energy providers have committed to supporting the Westinghouse application.
“As someone who spent ten years of his career trying to attract new business and industry to our state, I can’t tell you how big a deal this is for Missouri. This is going to provide jobs and economic opportunity for our state for a long, long time,” Hart said.
"Designing, developing and commercializing next-generation nuclear technology will create good jobs for Missourians, expand our global exports, and ensure that Missouri has affordable, abundant, safe and reliable power for generations to come," Governor Jay Nixon said.
The Westinghouse SMR is a 225 megawatts (MW) nuclear reactor with advanced safety and power features. The Westinghouse SMR technology is based on the AP1000® pressurized water reactor, a design that has already been licensed by the NRC. Eight AP1000 units are currently being constructed: four in China, with the first unit expected to come online in 2013, and four units in the United States, the first of which is expected to come online in 2016. The SMR will be manufactured in modules that are truck, barge and rail shippable and assembled on the plant site. This approach is designed to reduce construction time and costs.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.