Bill Gates, Warren Buffett building nuclear reactor in America's biggest coal-producing state - Politics | PoFo

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Yay! Nuclear.

Sorry environmental greenies, but transitioning the nation off fossil fuel energy is going to have to involve a transition to nuclear.

Hopefully there won't be too much nuclear waste and accidents.

This is just pragmatic economics. It's much less expensive for nuclear to supply large amounts of power than renewables like wind and solar.

A next-generation nuclear power reactor that could bolster the nation's transition to low-carbon energy will be built on the site of a retiring coal plant in Wyoming.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon on Wednesday announced the state will house a Natrium reactor pilot project in partnership with nuclear reactor design company TerraPower, power company PacifiCorp and the U.S. Department of Energy.

TerraPower was founded by Bill Gates about 15 years ago, and PacifiCorp is owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway.

The project will feature a sodium-cooled fast reactor with a molten salt-based energy storage system capable of producing 345 megawatts of power. TerraPower says the storage technology could boost the system’s output to 500 megawatts of power for more than five-and-a-half hours when needed, enough energy to power about 400,000 homes.

The nuclear power plant would take about seven years to build.

"Together with PacifiCorp, we're creating the energy grid of the future where advanced nuclear technologies provide good-paying jobs and clean energy for years to come," said TerraPower's CEO Chris Levesque.

Wyoming's governor said the nuclear plant would provide on-demand energy and significantly cut carbon emissions, as well as create hundreds of jobs in the state.

Wyoming is the nation’s top coal-producing state.​

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett building nuclear reactor in nation's biggest coal-producing state (

And with more electric cars, we can certainly expect the construction of a lot more nuclear power plants in the future.

see thread here:
"Is converting to electric cars powered by green energy even feasible?"

Those electric cars you dream about are going to end up requiring a very vast expansion of the country's electric supply.

Electric cars at what cost?
BeesKnee5 wrote:345MW isn't going to make much difference, but linking it to molten salt storage will make it more useful.

The molten salt storage technology may be useful for solar power plants. I was reading about the largest solar plant in California (Ivanpah), and apparently they have been forced to burn natural gas to keep the salt in a liquid state, when the skies get cloud cover and the direct sunlight is not strong enough to keep the salt a liquid. They estimate that about 15% of the total energy produced by this power plant is coming from natural gas rather than solar energy. The original planners were not expecting this.

The molten salt storage technology might be able to store enough heat to keep the salt in a liquid state, even when there are periods of some cloud cover.

The liquid salt acts as a heat transfer fluid, and as soon as the temperatures drop below the melting point the solar power generation can no longer function. In other words the plant cannot operate if it drops down to 50% capacity. That just would not be a pragmatic design.

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