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Senator-elect prefiles nuclear power bill

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Senator-elect Mike Kehoe on Dec. 6 prefiled a bill that aims to streamline construction of the state's second nuclear power plant.

The bill - labeled Senate Bill 50 - seeks repayment to utility organizations involved in obtaining an early site permit for construction of nuclear plants.

The bill is part of a plan by several energy organizations statewide that hope to build a second plant at Ameren Missouri's Callaway County location, the site of the state's only nuclear power plant.

If passed, the bill would allow energy company investors associated with the project to charge ratepayers with paying back the $40 million early site permit during a period not to exceed 20 years.

The bill includes stipulations that must be followed if it becomes law.

Starting Oct. 1, any electric company seeking an early site permit from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission must submit work and cost reports to the Missouri Public Service Commission every six months.

Energy companies would only be able to recover funds from early site payments after acquiring them and receiving final approval by the PSC.

According to the bill's language, if electric companies' interest in an early site permit is sold or transferred, they must refund the recovered cost from ratepayers.

If the bill makes the rounds to become law, it will become effective Aug. 28.

The Senate General Assembly convenes Jan. 5.

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