Business and government officials say a demonstration next-generation, small nuclear power plant will be built at a soon-to-be retired coal-fired plant in Wyoming.
Nuclear reactor design firm TerraPower and Rocky Mountain Power, a subsidiary of PacifiCorp, announced the joint project Wednesday, but gave no firm timetable for construction – just “in the next few years.”
The project will use TerraPower’s molten salt reactor and energy storage system. Billionaire Bill Gates, a major investor in the company, says the salt system will perform better, be safer, and cost less than traditional nuclear power.
The reactor will be located at one of four Wyoming coal-fired power plants being decommissioned, but which one won’t be announced until later this year.
Wyoming Gov Mark Gordon says he’s thrilled that Wyoming was selected for the demonstration, calling the state “the perfect place for this type of innovative utility facility because of its experienced workforce.
Gordon also says he has always supported an “all-of-the-above” energy portfolio for electric utilities, and is pleased the molten salt plant will bring well-laying and long-term jobs for Wyoming workers with welcome tax revenue for the state.