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Bill Gates-backed firm announces proposed advanced nuclear reactor plant in Wyoming

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Posted at 3:24 PM, Jun 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 00:15:36-04

Wyoming is partnering with tech mogul's Bill Gates nuclear power company to build the state's first Natrium advanced nuclear reactor power plant.

The state's partnership with the firm founded by Gates, TerraPower, and Washington state power firm Pacificorp was announced Wednesday in an event hosted by Gov. Mark Gordon, according to Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso.

Officials at the event said the exact location of the plant in Wyoming would be announced by the end of the year, according to Reuters.

Small advanced reactors of these kinds are viewed by some as a means to fight climate change by providing carbon-neutral energy to supplement existing wind and solar sources.

The $1 billion project features a 345-megawatt sodium-cooled fast reactor with molten salt-based energy storage that could boost the system's power output to 500 MW during peak power demand, according to Reuters.

Critics, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, warn advanced reactors such as the one proposed in Wyoming come with higher risks, including becoming a higher target for terrorists seeking to build crude nuclear weapons.