“The future of energy is here”: Wyoming to host the country’s first “Natrium” nuclear reactor
CASPER, Wyoming – Wyoming will be home to the first “Natrium” nuclear reactor. The Cowboy State was selected by TerraPower and PacifiCorp to build the country’s first Natrium reactor.
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon was joined by people like US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and TerraPower Chariman and co-founder Bill Gates at a press conference Wednesday announcing the project.
“The future of energy is here,” Granholm said during the announcement. She said the new Natrium technology would help meet President Joe Biden’s administration’s goal of achieving zero net emissions across the economy by 2050.
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Gates said advanced nuclear power will be able to tackle “global energy poverty and climate change” because it can provide “large amounts of electricity day and night almost anywhere on earth.”
Gordon said the plant would help meet its goal of making Wyoming net negative for carbon production while using fossil fuels.
Gordon said the new plant will replace an existing coal-fired plant in “coal country”. The governor’s office said in a press release that TerraPower and Rocky Mountain Power are considering several potential locations. The site will be announced at the end of 2021.
Gordon said the construction of the plant would provide “hundreds of jobs” and that once it is operational, the number of ongoing jobs as well as salaries would be comparable to the number of jobs at the plant. charcoal that it will replace.
“I am delighted to see Wyoming selected for this demonstration pilot project, as our great state is the perfect location for this type of innovative utility facility and our experienced coal workforce is eagerly awaiting them. jobs that this project will provide, ”Gordon said in the press release. “I have always supported a comprehensive energy portfolio for our electric utilities. Our state continues to lead the way in the future of energy, and Wyoming should be the place where innovative energy technologies are brought to market. “
The plant will generate tax revenue for Wyoming, the governor’s office adds.
“This project is an exciting economic opportunity for Wyoming,” RMP President and CEO Gary Hoogeveen said in the press release. “Siting an advanced Natrium reactor at a retired coal-fired power plant in Wyoming could ensure that a once-productive coal production site continues to produce reliable power for our customers. ”
“We are currently conducting joint due diligence to ensure this opportunity is profitable for our customers and is a perfect fit for Wyoming and the communities we serve. “
Gordon told the press conference that construction is possible in part thanks to the passage of Wyoming House Bill 74 which put in place a regulatory framework for small modular nuclear reactors.
“I congratulate Rocky Mountain Power for joining TerraPower to help Wyoming develop solutions so our communities remain viable and continue to thrive in a changing economy, while keeping the state at the forefront of energy solutions.” Wyoming Senate Speaker Dan Dockstader said in the press release.
Wyoming House Speaker Eric Barlow added, “Wyoming has long been a top state for basic energy. This role is becoming increasingly important. This effort requires partnerships, and we welcome those who wish to scale up and seize these opportunities with us. “
The project is a demonstration of Natrium technology and aims to “validate the design, construction and operational characteristics”. The technology is TerraPower and GE Hitachi technology.
“Together with PacifiCorp, we are creating the energy grid of the future where advanced nuclear technologies will provide well-paying jobs and clean energy for years to come,” said Chris Levesque, President and CEO of TerraPower. “Natrium technology was designed to solve a challenge that utilities face as they strive to improve grid reliability and stability while meeting decarbonization and emissions reduction goals. “
The US Department of Energy has provided TerraPower with up-front funding of $ 80 million to demonstrate Natrium technology.
“TerraPower signed the cooperation agreement with the DOE in May 2021,” the governor’s office said. “The next steps include a more in-depth evaluation of the project, education and awareness, and state and federal regulatory approvals, before acquiring a Natrium facility. “
“Learn more about this project and Natrium technology on wyadvancedenergy.com. “
More details about the new nuclear power plant can be found in this article.
The announcement aired on the Wyoming PBS Youtube channel: