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    Southern and TerraPower would develop small nuclear plant in the US.


    November 19, 2021 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      Southern Co. agreed to design and build an advanced nuclear demonstration reactor using technology developed by Bill Gates-backed TerraPower LLC.

      Southern plans to build the molten chloride reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory, according to a statement issued Thursday. The U.S. Department of Energy is providing a grant to cover 80% of the $170 million project, with the rest coming from Southern, TerraPower and others.

      Southern and TerraPower are part of a growing wave of companies looking to build smaller reactors, which are expected to be faster and cheaper to build than conventional nuclear plants.

      The demonstration system will have less than 500 kilowatts of capacity and is expected to enter service in 2026, according to Lauren Lathem, Southern's program manager. A commercial version could reach 720 megawatts of capacity.

      The reactor will use TerraPower's molten chloride technology, which operates at higher temperatures than conventional reactors, making it more efficient than water-cooled nuclear plants in common use today.

      It is a different design than the Natrium liquid sodium reactor TerraPower plans to build in Wyoming for PacifiCorp.

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