On Tuesday, TerraPower, the US-based nuclear power company backed by Bill Gates, announced it has chosen a site for what would be its first reactor. Kemmerer, Wyoming, population roughly 2,500, has been the site of the coal-fired Naughton Power Plant, which is being closed. The TerraPower project will see it replaced by a 345 megawatt reactor that would pioneer a number of technologies that haven't been commercially deployed before.
These include a reactor design that needs minimal refueling, cooling by liquid sodium, and a molten-salt heat-storage system that will provide the plant with the flexibility needed to better integrate with renewable energy.
While TerraPower is the name clearly attached to the project, plenty of other parties are involved, as well. The company is perhaps best known for being backed by Bill Gates, now chairman of the company board, who has promoted nuclear power as a partial solution for the climate crisis. The company has been selected by the US Department of Energy to build a demonstration reactor, a designation that guarantees at least $180 million toward construction and could see it receive billions of dollars over the next several years.
Also at Ars Technica.
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Wyoming has selected billionaire Bill Gates's company TerraPower LLC and Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway's owned power company PacifiCorp to build the nation's first Natrium reactor. As reported by Reuters:
TerraPower, founded by Gates about 15 years ago, and power company PacifiCorp, owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N), said the exact site of the Natrium reactor demonstration plant is expected to be announced by the end of the year. Small advanced reactors, which run on different fuels than traditional reactors, are regarded by some as a critical carbon-free technology than can supplement intermittent power sources like wind and solar as states strive to cut emissions that cause climate change.
"This is our fastest and clearest course to becoming carbon negative," Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon said. "Nuclear power is clearly a part of my all-of-the-above strategy for energy" in Wyoming, the country's top coal-producing state.
The project features a 345 megawatt sodium-cooled fast reactor with molten salt-based energy storage that could boost the system's power output to 500 MW during peak power demand. TerraPower said last year that the plants would cost about $1 billion.
[...] Chris Levesque, TerraPower's president and CEO, said the demonstration plant would take about seven years to build.
"We need this kind of clean energy on the grid in the 2030s," he told reporters.
Also seen over at ZeroHedge.