The project in Wyoming, the nation’s largest coal-producing state, is a small, advanced reactor that runs on different types of fuel. It is being built by Pacific Corp Warren Buffett and TerraPower Bill Gates.
The companies have joined forces for a plan to launch the advanced Natrium nuclear reactor in Wyoming. Energy companies run by billionaire friends have chosen Wyoming to launch the first Natrium nuclear reactor project at the site of a former coal-fired power plant.
TerraPower, founded by Gates about 15 years ago, and PacifiCorp, an energy company owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, said Wednesday that the exact location of the Natrium reactor demonstration plant should be announced by year’s end.
The small, advanced reactors, which run on different fuels than traditional reactors, are seen by some as a critical carbon-free technology that could complement less efficient energy sources such as wind and solar power as states seek to reduce emissions that cause climate change. “We think Natrium will be a game changer in the energy industry,” Gates said at a press conference to launch the project in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
The project includes a 345-megawatt sodium-cooled fast reactor with molten salt energy storage that can boost system output to 500 megawatts during peak load. Last year, TerraPower said the plant would cost about $1 billion.