Bill Gates, in partnership with Warren Buffett, owner of PacifiCorp, an American energy company, announced the construction of a US$ 1 billion nuclear reactor in the state of Wyoming (USA). According to Gates, ahead of TerraPower, which specializes in equipment of this type, the structure represents the next generation in the sector.
In a statement published last Wednesday (2), those involved in the project explained that, when active, the Natrium (name of the novelty) will be able to supply 400,000 homes, generating 500 megawatts at peak demand, in addition to being a free source of carbon and to complement wind and solar solutions. Due to its characteristics, it is considered more ecological than traditional reactors.
Chris Levesque, President and CEO of TerraPower, argues: “Natrium technology is designed to solve a challenge utilities face as they work to improve grid reliability and stability, as well as meet decarbonization and emission reduction targets [ of gases].”
“We believe [the launch] will change the game for the energy industry,” says Gates.
“Safe and Reliable Electricity”
Also according to those responsible for the Natrium, it will contain a fast 345 megawatt sodium-cooled reactor with an energy storage system based on molten salt. In addition, the new technology architecture separates and simplifies key structures, reducing complexity, cost and construction schedule while providing safe and reliable electricity.
By the end of 2021, they indicate, the location of the demonstration plant is expected to be revealed – which, fully operational and intended for validation of design, construction and operational characteristics, will integrate seamlessly with renewable resources, which can lead to faster and more economical decarbonization of power generation.
“I’m thrilled to see Wyoming selected for this pilot project, as our great state is the perfect place for this type of innovative utility facility. Our experienced workforce is looking forward to the jobs the initiative will provide,” celebrates Mark Gordon, governor of the region.