TerraPower picks Kemmerer, Wyoming for nuclear plant

Nicole Pollack, Casper Star Tribune

TerraPower has chosen the Naughton power plant in Kemmerer as the site of its first Natrium nuclear reactor, the company said Tuesday.

The decision comes nearly six months after the nuclear developer and regional utility Rocky Mountain Power announced plans to build the demonstration reactor at one of four retiring Wyoming coal plants. Also in contention were Dave Johnston in Glenrock, Wyodak in Gillette and Jim Bridger in Rock Springs.

All four plants were already slated to retire before 2040, starting with both Naughton units in 2025 and all four Dave Johnston units in 2027 — removing thousands of megawatts of consistent power generation from the regional electric grid, and eliminating hundreds of Wyoming jobs.

“Just yesterday, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and today DOE is already putting it to work with more than $1.5 billion heading to Wyoming,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “The energy communities that have powered us for generations have real opportunities to power our clean energy future through projects just like this one, that provide good-paying jobs and usher in the next wave of nuclear technologies.”

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