Bill Gates' nuclear-power firm will help build a $170 million experimental nuclear reactor in Idaho
- Bill Gates'
TerraPoweris helping to build another nuclear reactor— this time in Idaho.
- It's partnering with the utility company Southern Company on an experimental molten-chloride fast reactor.
Bill Gates's nuclear-power firm, TerraPower, is helping to build a small experimental
The project is led by the gas and electric utility giant Southern Company, which plans to use TerraPower's
The Idaho project is different from TerraPower's liquid-sodium nuclear reactor in Wyoming because it uses molten chloride. This means it can operate at higher temperatures than traditional nuclear reactors and is a carbon-free energy source, per Southern's statement. The five-year project is designed to test, research, and develop molten-chloride fast reactors.
The US Department of
In 2015, Southern and TerraPower were awarded $40 million by the DoE to build the necessary infrastructure for molten-chloride fast reactors, according to Southern's statement.
The experimental nuclear reactor will supply less than 500 kilowatts of power, but a commercial version could produce around 720 megawatts, Lauren Lathem, a Southern program manager, told Bloomberg.
In comparison, TerraPower's Wyoming
The reactor in Idaho is scheduled to go into service in 2026, Southern's Lathem told Bloomberg.
TerraPower didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Southern bills TerraPower's technology as "important to a sustainable clean energy future," per the statement.
"The Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment will continue this important work in a critical reactor experiment, leading to the successful development of low-cost, clean energy for the future," Chris Levesque, TerraPower's president and CEO, said in the statement.
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