STATUS: Suspended Indefinitely
OPPOSITION: Sierra Club; Missourians for Safe Energy; Consumers Council of Missouri; Industrial Users; Local Residents
BACKGROUND: On July 24, 2008, AmerenUE submitted a construction and operation license (COL) application with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The project would add a new 1,600-megawatt pressurized water reactor adjacent to AmerenUE’s existing nuclear unit, Callaway Plant, located 10 miles from Fulton, Missouri. At the time the application was submitted, AmerenUE cited a nearly 30 percent increase in demand for power in Missouri in the next two decades, and if approved expected Unit 2 to be complete between 2018-2020. The reactor design would be one of Areva SA’s 1,600-megawatt Evolutionary Power Reactors, which can produce enough power for more than one million homes. Construction was slated to begin as early as 2012. Callaway Unit 2 would be the biggest construction project in Missouri’s history, generating as many as 3,000 temporary construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs. Early cost estimates by AmerenUE were around $6 billion for the project.
To pay for the new reactor, Ameren sponsored legislation that would have allowed for cost recovery from customers during construction, known as “construction work in progress” or CWIP, rather than wait until after the unit enters service. The ban on CWIP came from a 1976 law aimed, ironically, at Callaway Unit 1. Ameren’s attempt to lift the CWIP ban engendered significant opposition from consumer and environmental groups and split the business community, with some large industrial users concerned about increases to their current electricity rates to pay for the new project. Ultimately, a repeal of the state’s 1976 CWIP ban floundered in the General Assembly, with parties unable to reach a compromise on the bill, despite the approval of the House Committee on Utilities.
In April 2009, AmerenUE suspended the Callaway Unit 2 project indefinitely.
SOURCES: AmerenUE web site (http://ameren.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=512);
Sierra Club (http://missouri.sierraclub.org/home.aspx?/sierranonline/2008/10/cwip.html);
Columbia Business Times (http://www.columbiabusinesstimes.com/4368/2009/04/23/ameren-suspends-callaway-nuclear-project/).
Last Updated: November 4, 2010