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Power Supply Community Task Force hears about Gasification and Nuclear energy sources

The 17 member Power Supply Community Task Force, whose mission is to recommend a reliable, cost effective, environmental and voter friendly power supply option for the Springfield metro area, heard from nuclear and gasification experts at its May 23rd meeting. Mike Smith has the story:

At Monday's meeting, task force co-chair Jack Stack encouraged the panel to be ready on May 26th, to discuss all options presented to the board since its first meeting in early March. Since that first meeting, the Power Supply Community Task Force has heard from energy experts on a wide range of power options including the continued use of coal, and renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and methane.

Monday, the panel heard from UMR Engineering Professor Akira Tokuhiro about options available with the use of nuclear energy. Tokuhiro told the panel and KSMU News that a large scale nuclear facility could be complete in about 15 years from the start of construction. A smaller scale nuclear power plant would take around 6-7 years to complete according to Tokuhiro.

Bill Trapp, Operations Manager for the Eastman Gasification Services Company of Kingsport Tennessee, pitched to the panel the process of coal gasification which according to Trapp removes most of the sulfur and mercury from the synthesized natural gas produced by the production process. Along with natural gas, Trapp says coal gasification creates transportation fuels and building blocks for the chemical industry which can be sold for profit.

In future meetings the Power Supply Community Task Force will hear from other experts on natural gas, hydrogen, hydroelectric, and health issues related to energy production.

July 15 is the target date for the panel to submit its recommendation to Springfield and Greene County officials. The Power Supply Community Task Force was formed at the request of Springfield City Utilities after voters rejected the construction of a 578 million dollar coal fired power plant.

For KSMU News, I'm Mike Smith.