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News Link • Energy

Natrium Sodium Cooled Fast Reactor Starts Construction

•, by Brian Wang

"This groundbreaking represents the beginning of the next era of nuclear energy. The Natrium reactor is more than a design, it's a plant coming to life that will support both the clean energy transition and our historic energy communities," said Chris Levesque, TerraPower President and CEO. "Our innovative Natrium technology will provide dispatchable carbon-free energy, gigawatt-scale energy storage, and
long-term jobs to the Lincoln County community."

TerraPower Chairman and Founder, is Bill Gates.

Approximately 1,600 workers will be needed for construction at the project's peak. Construction is set to span five years. Once the plant is operational, the company estimates that 250 people will support day-to-day activities, including plant security.
Upon completion, the Natrium demonstration plant will be a fully functioning commercial power plant.

It is being constructed near a retiring coal-fired power plant and is the only coal-to-nuclear project under development in the world.

The 345 MW TerraPower project is expected to cost up to $4 billion, half of it from the U.S. Department of Energy. Levesque said that figure includes first-of-its-kind costs for designing and licensing the reactor, so future ones would cost significantly less. This will be 6.5 times more expensive than China's reactors. $11600 per kW for the Terrapower Natrium reactor vs $1780 per kW for the Hualong Two.

A Georgia utility just finished the first two scratch-built American reactors in a generation at a cost of nearly $35 billion. The price tag for the expansion of Plant Vogtle from two of the traditional large reactors to four includes $11 billion in cost overruns.