Bechtel Breaks Floor on $4B Sodium-Cooled Nuclear Reactor

Reston, Virginia-based Bechtel just lately broke floor in Kemmerer, Wyoming, on an superior nuclear reactor that makes use of sodium as an alternative of water as a coolant, in line with a June 10 information launch from the contractor. 

Bechtel is the engineering, procurement, and development accomplice on the job, generally known as the Natrium Demonstration Challenge, for Bellevue, Washington-based TerraPower. The corporate, which is chaired by Microsoft founder Invoice Gates, makes a speciality of nuclear vitality know-how. 

The Related Press reported in 2024 that the value to construct Natrium can be as much as $4 billion.

To begin, development on Natrium will likely be restricted to non-nuclear options. Work will advance as soon as the US Nuclear Regulatory Fee approves TerraPower’s allow for the ability’s design, in line with Utility Dive. 

At its peak, TerraPower claims the work will require 1,600 staff and span 5 years, resulting in an eventual operation date in 2029.

What units Natrium aside from conventional nuclear energy crops is the way in which it’ll preserve reactor temperatures in verify – the ability will use a sodium-based know-how to chill the reactor as an alternative of water, which the majority of nuclear amenities use, in line with the Division of Power.

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