The Curators of the University of Missouri received a $1.8 million federal grant that will support research related to the production of small nuclear reactors (SMRs) at Ameren’s Callaway County plant in Fulton. The money came from a project called Make it in America Challenge, an initiative to create new jobs and encourage business in America.
Ameren Missouri customers can expect to see a slightly lower bill after state regulators determined the utility owes its electric customers slightly more than $26 million for failing to include some revenue in its calculations.
The Missouri Public Service Commission approved an order Wednesday for the St. Louis-based company to refund the money to customers. But Ameren Missouri won't be sending out checks. Instead, the $26.3 million will be applied by adjusting a fuel charge that customers otherwise would pay.
The Callaway Energy Center just outside Fulton is back in service this week after a routine shutdown for refueling and maintenance. The plant was out of commission for 50 days while several new modifications were made in addition to normal inspections and tests.
Barry Cox, the senior director of nuclear operations for the plant, says the improvements mean it will take a few days for the plant to get back to full capacity.
The two companies have teamed up to pursue up to $452 million from Washington to build up to five Small Modular Reactors, or SMR’s, at Ameren’s Callaway County plant. Joseph Zwetolitz is President of the Americas division of Westinghouse. He says SMR’s would be safer than the traditional nuclear reactor.
“This reactor is almost entirely underground, which provides an additional level of safety, with regards to potential postulated accidents, deliberate attacks, tornadoes, those kind of things," Zwetolitz said.