Home » Bechtel breaks ground on TerraPower’s Natrium reactor

Bechtel breaks ground on TerraPower’s Natrium reactor

by Mark Cantrell
Digital rendering of Natrium Advanced Reactor Demonstration Project

Bechtel has celebrated officially breaking ground for the construction of an advanced nuclear reactor demonstration project in the state of Wyoming, in the USA.

The company is working with TerraPower as its engineering, procurement, and construction partner for the first-of-a-kind Natrium project in Kemmerer. The project is part of the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Programme.

Natrium is an advanced nuclear reactor that uses a sodium-based technology to cool the reactor instead of water. This unique technology developed by TerraPower is claimed to provide clean, baseload operation at 345 megawatts with the capability to flex as high as 500 megawatts, generating enough energy to power 400,000 homes.

Craig Albert, Bechtel’s president and COO, said: “The Natrium reactor’s innovative design will launch a new approach to nuclear plant construction that is designed to be safer, cleaner, faster, and more efficient than many energy source alternatives.

“Working together, the combination of advanced technology and streamlined constructability has the potential to diversify the US power generation industry. The option of deploying smaller advanced nuclear plants that can work in concert with other clean energy sources will help speed our progress toward net-zero emissions.”

As the nexus of TerraPower and GE Hitachi technology, the Natrium design is said to represent a leap forward in clean, sustainable power generation. The project will bring a commercial, advanced nuclear reactor online that will deliver carbon-free, reliable power to the electrical grid and provide jobs in Wyoming for decades to come.

Main image: Digital rendering of Natrium Advanced Reactor Demonstration Project. Courtesy of Bechtel

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