Wyoming powers ahead with Bill Gates-backed sodium-cooled nuclear generation plant.
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Plans to construct a Natrium reactor demonstration project at a retiring coal plant in the US state of Wyoming were announced yesterday by TerraPower, PacifiCorp and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon. The companies are evaluating several potential locations in the state for the plant, which will feature a 345 MWe sodium-cooled fast reactor combined with a molten salt energy storage system that can boost the system’s output to 500 MWe for more than five-and-a-half hours when needed. They expect to announce the selected site by the end of 2021.
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Bill Gates small nuclear ‘only option’ for 24/7 power with wind and solar: Buffett utility boss. Rocky Mountain Power CEO says reliable supply impossible with renewables and batteries as nuclear-plus-storage demonstrator planned for Wyoming.
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The key to understanding this story is found in Governor Gordon’s use of the words “all of the above.” That’s free market speak for “We’re happy to have a piddly little 350 MW facility of over here, just so long as we can continue supporting coal- and gas-powered generating plants that churn out hundreds of gigawatts over there.” In other words, it’s a smokescreen designed to allow fossil fuel interests to kick the can down the road a little further and add some greenwashing to their corporate portfolios at the same time. Being rich does not necessarily make a person all that smart. America needs more nuclear power like a fish needs a bicycle. People in Wyoming may be fooled by this blather, but CleanTechnica readers aren’t taking the bait. Natrium was probably selected as the name of thus new nuclear technology because it sounds a little like “nature” or “natural.” That’s a great marketing ploy, but we’re not buying it. Frankly, the Bill and Warren show is more than a little disappointing.
Clean Technica 3rd June 2021 read more »