The Plant

The NatriumTM reactor and energy storage system redefines what nuclear technology can be: emissions-free, competitive and flexible. Built for the 21st century grid, TerraPower's Natrium technology is one of the fastest and lowest-cost paths to advanced, zero-carbon energy.


TerraPower Breaks Ground on First Natrium Plant in Wyoming

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Terrapower's Natrium Project and the ARDP Partnership

TerraPower is building its first plant through a public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP).

This program authorizes a 50/50 cost share and authorizes up to $2 billion for the Natrium project. TerraPower and partners will match this investment dollar for dollar. The first-of-a-kind cost for the Natrium demonstration plant will include the reactor design and licensing, codes and methods development, fuel development and qualification, and the design, construction and operation of two supporting facilities: the Natrium Fuel Fabrication Facility and Sodium Test and Fill Facility. The sodium facility will be used to test and demonstrate the performance of first-of-a-kind equipment prior to operations in the reactor plant.

The Natrium reactor's groundbreaking technology

Unlike today's Light Water Reactors, the Natrium reactor is a 345-megawatt sodium fast reactor coupled with TerraPower's breakthrough innovation — a molten salt energy storage system, providing built-in gigawatt-scale energy storage. This makes the plant a perfect support for high-renewable penetration grids where variable power output is a concern.

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Interactive Grid and Innovations

Understanding the energy grid and the role of diverse sources, including nuclear and renewables like solar, wind and hydro, is key to grasping the dynamics of our clean energy future. Explore our interactive dashboard to see the impact of transitioning to a decarbonized system with innovations like the Natrium reactor and energy storage system. The dashboard demonstrates Natrium’s unique ability to provide firm, flexible power to an evolving electric grid. The data explores a representative electric system under several decarbonization scenarios to illustrate how Natrium can seamlessly integrate with renewable generation to reduce the cost of the energy transition.

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Safety at Terrapower

The Natrium reactor and energy storage system, leveraging natural forces and cutting-edge design, offers unparalleled safety through its operation.

The advantages of natrium reactors over traditional designs

Natrium reactors are not pressurized like existing plants and use sodium, instead of water, as a coolant. The reactor operates at a temperatures greater than 350 degrees Celsius (the equivalent of 662 degrees Fahrenheit) and far below the boiling point of sodium. TerraPower's design capitalizes on natural forces, such as gravity and thermal convection, enabling passive cooling and significantly reducing safety-related costs compared to conventional reactors.

Additionally, it's unique design allows for separation and “decoupling” of the energy and nuclear island, ensuring the integrated energy storage and power production systems are completely seperated from the nuclear portion of the plant.

This design permits non-nuclear project teams to operate significant plant operations like the steam turbines and salt tanks outside of the nuclear control area. This is safer and reduces costs.


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