Utah’s power and jobs are involved in the process, according to the governor’s adviser.
Bill Gates-backed TerraPower Company, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon and PacifiCorp announced on June 2 their plans to build a uranium-fueled Natrium reactor at a retired coal-fired power plant in Wyoming, which will use nuclear power to produce carbon-free energy and will benefit Rocky Mountain Power, an electricity supplier in Utah.
Governor Spencer Cox’s energy adviser, Thom Carter, was present at the June 2 press conference and said in an interview with FOX 13 that Utah’s electricity and Utah jobs will be “engaged.” in this process ”. Governor Cox also praised the company in a statement.
“I support a comprehensive energy plan, which includes nuclear energy. The Utahns need reliable power sources and this new facility in Wyoming will provide that in an environmentally sustainable manner, ”Cox said in a statement to Fox13. “Coal communities have fueled our state and this country for generations and enabled the tremendous economic growth we have experienced in the West. By installing this project in a retired coal-fired power plant, Rocky Mountain Power and their partners, TerraPower and the Department of Energy, are demonstrating that these same communities can fuel our economic growth for generations to come.
Rocky Mountain Power, which supplies power to most of Utah, is a division of PacifiCorp, owned by Berkshire-Hathaway.
TerraPower, founded by Gates, and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy will produce the Natrium reactor which “offers carbon-free energy at a competitive cost and is ready to integrate seamlessly into power grids with high levels of renewable energy”.
According to the statement, the project includes “a 345 MW sodium-cooled fast reactor with a molten salt energy storage system,” and the storage technology can “increase the power of the system to 500 MW of power during more than five and a half years. hours when needed, which is equivalent to the energy required to power approximately 400,000 homes.
The US Department of Energy granted TerraPower upfront funding of $ 80 million in October 2020 to “demonstrate Natrium technology,” the statement said. Last May, the company signed an agreement with the Ministry of Energy and the ministry “committed additional funds in the years to come, subject to appropriations”.
“Nuclear power is the only carbon-free energy source we have available that can deliver large amounts of electricity, day and night, every season, almost anywhere on Earth. And it’s been proven to work on a large scale, ”Gates said in a video at the June 2 press conference. “Nuclear energy, like any other technology, must innovate and adapt… Natrium is designed to bring about a radical change in terms of performance, safety and costs. We believe Natrium will be a game-changer for the energy industry.