TerraPower, the nuclear power venture backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has chosen a soon-to-be-retired coal-fired power plant in Wyoming as its preferred location for a next-generation demonstration reactor.
After an evaluation process that included meetings with community members, the Bellevue, Wash.-based venture selected Kemmerer, Wyo., for the site of its Natrium reactor, which will make use of technology from TerraPower and GE-Hitachi.
The project is one of two projects supported by the U.S. Department of Energy with an initial funding round totaling $160 million. The other project is planned by Maryland-based X-energy, with Washington state’s Hanford nuclear reservation selected as the preferred location. The Department of Energy plans to invest a total of $3.2 billion over a seven-year period to turn the concepts into reality by 2028, with matching funds provided by industry partners.
TerraPower had previously signaled that it planned to build the demonstration reactor at one of PacifiCorp’s four retiring coal-fired plants in Wyoming, but today’s announcement revealed the precise location.