TerraPower and PacifiCorp Announce Efforts to Expand Use of SodiumTM Technology | business

Design artwork for the sodium reactor

Design of the sodium reactor

The companies are investigating the potential for deploying 5 additional sodium reactors

TerraPower, a nuclear innovation company, and PacifiCorp, a regulated utility, today announced they have conducted a joint study to assess the feasibility of deploying up to five additional sodium reactors and integrated energy storage systems in PacifiCorp’s service area by 2035.

PacifiCorp and TerraPower last year announced their plans to bring the sodium demonstration plant to Kemmerer, Wyoming, where a PacifiCorp coal-fired power plant is scheduled to be decommissioned. The companies’ shared commitment to providing zero-carbon power solutions while maintaining grid reliability and integrating base-load power that can support intermittent power resources makes Natrum technology ideal for use throughout PacifiCorp’s system.

“This joint study is a significant step in building the energy grid of the future for PacifiCorp’s customers and a tangible example of the promise advanced nuclear power brings to utilities serious about leading the nation’s energy transition,” said Chris Levesque, TerraPower President and CEO. “We are impressed and humbled by our work with the Kemmerer community and PacifiCorp. We look forward to evaluating new potential sites for sodium plants that have the same energy know-how and capabilities as our demonstration site.”

“The study will allow us to explore a zero-carbon, shippable energy resource that could provide reliable power to our customers,” said Gary Hoogeveen, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power, a division of PacifiCorp. “This is just a first step as advanced nuclear power must be evaluated through our resource planning processes and receive regulatory approval. But it is an exciting opportunity that moves us forward towards a net-zero energy future.”

By collaborating on the Sodium Demonstration Plant and jointly exploring the feasibility of adding up to five additional commercial units by 2035, TerraPower and PacifiCorp are seeking to identify opportunities for PacifiCorp’s customers to reduce costs and more broadly deploy advanced sodium reactors.

Among other things, the joint study will assess the potential for advanced reactors near current fossil fuel power plant sites, allowing PacifiCorp to repurpose existing generation and transmission facilities for the benefit of its customers. The location of future sodium plants will be thoroughly explored as part of this study process and both companies will be engaging with local communities before final sites are selected.

Congress and the Department of Energy under the Biden administration have taken proactive steps to continue supporting the use of advanced nuclear technologies as part of a range of solutions to achieve zero-carbon goals. With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Law, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Law and recent studies on the possibilities of a transition from coal to nuclear power, the role of advanced nuclear power is clear. TerraPower and PacifiCorp remain committed to bringing sodium technology to market and bringing reliability and stability to both the power grid and the energy-producing communities.


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