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Nuclear Energy

January 19, 2022
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Jenny Bratburd and Dr. Tomy Granzier-Nakajima

The Missouri Nuclear Clean Power Act (HB 1684 in the 2022 regular session) allows electric corporations to charge ratepayers for the cost of building clean baseload generating plants (specifically new nuclear-fueled facilities) or renewable source generating facilities rated at 200 megawatts or more (including wind, hydropower, solar power, landfill methane, biomass, or any other renewable source of power that does not produce significant carbon emissions) before they are operational. This repeals Section 393.135, RSMo which prohibits electrical corporations from charging for non-operational properties, including construction and financing.

Highlights 

  • Currently, 9% of Missouri’s electricity generation comes from renewable sources, and 11% of Missouri’s electricity generation comes from its single nuclear power plant, the Callaway Nuclear Generating Station.
  • Nuclear energy could be used as a carbon-free energy source to provide consistent, baseload energy, as Missouri increases use of intermittent renewable energy such as solar and wind power.
  • Disadvantages of nuclear power include problems with long-term waste storage, public perception of safety, and excess costs during construction.

Limitations 

  • New nuclear reactors may improve economic viability and safety, but this technology is still developing.
  • There is no long-term national plan for the storage of spent nuclear fuel.

 

This Note has been updated. You can access the previous version (published October 2020) here.

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