Bill Gates-Backed Company Seeks To Deploy Small Modular Nuclear Reactors In U.S.


from ZeroHedge:

A company founded by Bill Gates is planning on being the first to build a new generation of nuclear power plants based on small modular reactors (SMRs) in the United States. These plans usually have a power capacity of 300MW or less, which is about 1/3rd of regular reactors.

TerraPower has officially “joined the race” against Russia and China to develop lower-cost nuclear reactors, according to FT this week.

CEO Chris Levesque said they are seeking US regulatory approval for their innovative liquid sodium-cooled reactor this month. The Natrium reactors could be constructed at nearly half the cost of traditional water-cooled nuclear reactors.


TerraPower, which has secured nearly $1bn in private investments, has also partnered with the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation to explore the deployment of Natrium reactors in the UAE for electricity and hydrogen production.

With up to $2bn in promised support from the US government, the company is advancing its inaugural project in Kemmerer, Wyoming. Despite pending permits, construction near a former coal power site will start in June, focusing on preliminary, non-nuclear structures. TerraPower aims to activate the plant by 2030, according to the report.

Levesque told FT: “When you use liquid sodium as a coolant instead of water it’s a game-changer. Natrium plants will cost half of what light water reactor plants cost . . . and we are moving our project along pretty aggressively.”

FT reports that American firms are striving to match their counterparts in Russia and China, who have already operationalized two Small Modular Reactor (SMR) plants. These include a floating plant in Pevek, Russia, and another in Shidao Bay, China.

Meanwhile, the U.S. nuclear sector is hindered by elevated interest rates, surging expenses, and a scarcity of the enriched uranium needed for new reactors – not to mention the far left ‘woke’ crowd who continues to protest due to ‘safety concerns’ about what is really the safest, most efficient and greenest way to generate power…

FT notes that in November, rising costs led NuScale, an Oregon company, to scrap its plans for America’s inaugural SMR after utilities balked at a proposed 50% price hike.

TerraPower has yet to quote prices for its Natrium-generated power. Its Kemmerer reactor, initially a demonstration, aims for full-scale commercial operation. In October 2022, TerraPower and PacifiCorp, part of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, announced plans to explore the deployment of five more Natrium reactors by 2035.

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