Power companies run by billionaire friend Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Wyoming has been selected to start the first Natrium nuclear reactor project at the site of a decommissioned coal-fired power plant.
PacifiCorp, the power company owned by TerraPower and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway about 15 years ago, said on Wednesday that the exact location of the Natrium reactor demonstration plant is expected to be announced by the end of this year.
Small advanced reactors use different fuels from traditional reactors and are considered by some to be a key carbon-free technology that can supplement intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar energy as states strive to reduce emissions that cause climate change.
“We think Natrium will become a game changer in the energy industry,” Gates said at Cheyenne’s media conference to launch the project. Wyoming.
“This is the fastest and clearest process for us to achieve negative carbon emissions,” said Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon. In Wyoming, the largest coal-producing state in the United States, “nuclear power is clearly part of my aforementioned energy strategy.”
The project has a 345 MW sodium-cooled fast reactor with molten salt-based energy storage that can increase the power output of the system to 500 MW during peak power demand. TerraPower said last year that these factories will cost about $1 billion.
At the end of last year, the US Department of Energy awarded TerraPower an initial funding of US$80 million to demonstrate Natrium technology, and the department has pledged to provide additional funding in the coming years based on Congressional appropriations.
Chris Levesque, President and CEO of TerraPower, said that the construction of the demonstration plant will take about seven years.
“We need to use this clean energy in the grid in the 2030s,” he told reporters.
Nuclear power experts warn that the risks of advanced reactors may be higher than traditional reactors. The fuel of many advanced reactors must be enriched at a much higher rate than conventional fuels, which means that the fuel supply chain may become an attractive target for radicals wishing to build crude nuclear weapons. A recent report says.
Levesque said these plants will reduce the risk of proliferation because they reduce overall nuclear waste.