Westinghouse, Ameren ally to license, deploy small modular reactors

Pittsburgh, May 17, 2012 — Westinghouse Electric Co. and the Missouri Electric Alliance led by Ameren Missouri formed of a utility participation group called the NexStart SMR Alliance.

The alliance is a consortium of current and prospective nuclear plant owners and operators and includes cooperative, municipal and investor-owned electric service providers, as well as public enterprises to advance energy security.

Alliance members signed a memorandum of understanding that recognizes the importance of advancing nuclear energy in helping develop the Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor (SMR).

The initial membership of the NexStart SMR Alliance includes Ameren Missouri, Exelon Generation Co., Dominion Virginia Power, FirstEnergy Generation, Tampa Electric Co., Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., Savannah River National Laboratory, and members of the Missouri Alliance: Missouri Public Utility Alliance; Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Inc.; The Empire District Electric Co.; and Kansas City Power and Light Co.

Westinghouse and Alliance members are also in discussions with other utilities and enterprises considering NexStart SMR Alliance membership in order to support the potential deployment of a Westinghouse SMR at Ameren's Callaway Energy Center in central Missouri.

The NexStart SMR Alliance will collaborate in supporting Westinghouse in its application to secure Department of Energy SMR investment funds that will be awarded to promising SMR projects that have the potential to be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and achieve commercial operation by 2022.

These cost-share agreements will span a five-year period and, subject to Congressional appropriations, provide a total investment of about $900 million, with at least 50 percent provided by private industry.

The investment fund application will be submitted to the DOE by mid-May, and a final decision on awarding the investment funds by the DOE is expected in late summer of 2012.

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