TerraPower revealed Wednesday that it has finalized the acquisition of a parcel of land in Kemmerer, Wyoming, which will serve as the site for the Natrium™ Reactor Demonstration Project. Chris Levesque, TerraPower's CEO and President, stated that the acquisition represents a progression in the company’s mission to deliver dependable, clean energy to the grid. He emphasized TerraPower’s commitment to collaboration with both local and statewide parties in Kemmerer.
The property's former owner was PacifiCorp.
Wyoming, and specifically Kemmerer, are not new to the energy production sector. However, the Natrium technology, which combines advanced nuclear reactor technology with an energy storage system, will be Wyoming's first foray into commercial nuclear power. Interestingly, the Natrium demonstration site is in close proximity to a coal facility slated for retirement. This makes the plant unique as the sole coal-to-nuclear project currently being developed globally. As projections suggest, the project could generate employment opportunities in western Wyoming for many years, with an anticipated peak of 1,600 construction jobs. Moreover, once operational, the facility is expected to require a workforce of 250 full-time employees.
This month has seen significant developments for the Natrium project. TerraPower recently publicized its inaugural series of supplier contracts in support of the Natrium reactor, a move poised to bolster the advanced nuclear supply chain across North America. Additionally, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was confirmed between TerraPower and Centrus Energy Corp. in July. The MOU aims to guarantee the supply of high-assay, low-enriched uranium (HALEU) for the Natrium reactor, aligning with the target operational date in 2030.
Operating under the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP), the Natrium reactor demonstration initiative is a joint effort between public and private sectors. The upcoming plant will serve to validate the Natrium technology's design, construction, and operational attributes. Central to the project is a 345MW sodium-cooled fast reactor, accompanied by a molten salt-based energy storage mechanism.
This energy storage solution has the capacity to augment the system's output to 500MW as required. This is comparable to the energy demand of roughly 400,000 residential units. Furthermore, the inherent flexibility of the energy storage system facilitates seamless integration with renewable energy sources.
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