A small Wyoming town is hoping Bill Gates' $1 billion nuclear power plant could save hundreds of jobs
Bill Gates' TerraPower nuclear power plant is considering Glenrock, Wyoming as the site of its next generation nuclear reactor. Hou Yu / China News Service / VCG via Getty Images
Bill Gates is considering Glenrock, Wyoming for his next generation nuclear power plant.
The facility could replace 200 jobs that are at risk if a local coal-fired power plant closes, the mayor said.
Gates' company TerraPower is operating the project with PacifiCorp, which is owned by Warren Buffett.
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A small town in Wyoming is hoping Bill Gates will pick it for its upcoming next-generation, $ 1 billion nuclear power plant that could save hundreds of local jobs.
TerraPower, Gates' nuclear power plant, is considering Glenrock, Wyoming for its first advanced sodium reactor, according to the Associated Press (AP). Gates said the reactor was safer and cheaper than a traditional nuclear reactor.
A coal-fired power station in Glenrock is due to be closed in 2027 according to plans by the energy company PacifiCorp, the owner of the power station. The power plant, called Dave Johnston Power Plant, employs nearly 200 people from Glenrock and two nearby towns, Wyoming News reported.
Glenrock Mayor Bruce Roumell told Fox Business that the location could more than make up for the loss of coal jobs.
"We were told it would be nearly 250 people," Roumell told Fox Business when asked how many jobs could be created. "You also said that there would be around 1,500 people in the construction phase. That is a pretty good influx in this area for us."
TerraPower operates the sodium project with PacifiCorp - owned by billionaire Warren Buffett - and plans to open the facility by 2028. The sodium reactor could be a carbon-free source of energy for about 400,000 households during peak loads, TerraPower said in a press release.
Read more: UBS is in favor of buying these 47 stocks across 11 sectors that are "preferred winners" from a $ 140 trillion clean energy transition that will transform the industry
Gates said in a press conference in June that the Natirum reactor, which uses liquid sodium as a coolant instead of water, is safer and cheaper than a traditional nuclear reactor. In October 2020, the US Department of Energy awarded the project $ 80 million in initial funding, according to a press release from TerraPower.
In June, TerraPower announced in a press release that it would select a city in Wyoming for its first reactor project and announce the location by the end of the year. Gillette, Kemmerer, and Rock Springs are the three other cities that are being considered, according to the AP.
TerraPower previously said the project would cost about $ 1 billion, Reuters reported.
Fox Business said almost all of the Glenrock residents it spoke to were excited about the idea of moving TerraPower to the city.
"We have to do something," resident Deb Schell told Fox Business. "I think it's the wave of the future. Coal is on the way out so we have to do something."
TerraPower and PacifiCorp did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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