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Firms seek to add modular reactors

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. — A pair of energy companies on Thursday announced a new attempt to expand nuclear energy in Missouri, this time by seeking federal energy funds for small nuclear reactors.

Under the plan, Westinghouse Electric Co. will seek up to $452 million from the U.S. Department of Energy in investment funds designed to support the engineering, design certification and operating licensure of small modular nuclear reactors. The utility Ameren Missouri says it then would become the nation’s first power company to apply for a construction and operating license from federal regulators for a small reactor developed by Westinghouse.

Westinghouse said a small nuclear reactor could produce 225 megawatts of electricity, about one-fifth the capacity of a large nuclear plant. The small modular nuclear reactors would be built in factories and shipped to where they are needed

In other news

UNION PACIFIC CORP. said Thursday its first-quarter net income jumped 35 percent as the railroad hauled more cars and crude oil. CSX said earlier this week that its net income jumped 14 percent. Both railroads were hauling more containers of consumer goods and both were able to increase rates enough to offset a decline in coal shipments.

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.90 percent from 3.88 percent. The rate touched 3.87 percent in February, the lowest ever.


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