Nuclear bill stalled in Missouri Senate

A procedural motion late Tuesday afternoon may have killed the nuclear early site permit bill for this legislative session — although some lawmakers think the plan still has a small chance of being passed.

Several Missouri senators, led by Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, and Robin Wright-Jones, D-St. Louis, spent about 80 minutes explaining the bill that would allow a utility company to get Public Service Commission approval to charge ratepayers for the company’s successful effort to win a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission early site permit — a first step toward building and operating a nuclear reactor to generate electricity.

The debate was on a substitute bill that combined Wright-Jones’ one-page bill over utility consumers’ deposit payments with Kehoe’s much larger measure covering the early site permit process.

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But it took only five minutes for Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, to challenge the bill with a “point of order,” and for Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, to rule it was a legitimate complaint.

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