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Associated Electric, Empire District join nuclear power consortium

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Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. and Joplin-based Empire District Electric Co. have teamed with other Missouri power organizations in an effort to bring a second nuclear power plant to the state, according to a news release from the governor's office.

Speaking from AECI Nov. 19, Gov. Jay Nixon said he had reached an agreement with the companies to create a consortium seeking attainment of an early site permit to build the nuclear facility at Ameren Missouri's Callaway County location near Fulton, the site that has housed the state's only nuclear power plant since 1984.

"Given the uncertainties regarding how best to replace aging power plants, the potential impact of anticipated Environmental Protection Agency regulations, and continued consideration at the federal level of carbon tax proposals, Ameren Missouri believes strongly that our state must keep all options on the table, including additional nuclear power generation,” Ameren Missouri Chairman, CEO and President Warner L. Baxter said in the release.

Nixon stated his willingness to get the project up and running quickly - he will be working with Missouri lawmakers and members of the consortium to allow them to recover the costs associated with obtaining the early site permit. Senator-elect Mike Kehoe, whose district includes Callaway County, will introduce a bill in the Missouri legislature, according to the release.

“The sooner the process is started, the sooner our state will reap the rewards,” Nixon said.

Nixon said costs associated with seeking the permit will not be incurred onto the residential and commercial ratepayers until the consortium is given the permit.

Partnering with AECI and Empire District Electric are St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri, Jefferson City-based Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Kansas City Power & Light, and Columbia-based Missouri Public Utility Alliance.[[In-content Ad]]

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