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TerraPower announced today the submission of its construction permit application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the NatriumTM reactor1 demonstration project. TerraPower is the first to submit its construction permit application for a commercial advanced reactor to the NRC.

TerraPower is leading the way in bringing the next generation of nuclear energy to market. TerraPower has been working closely with the NRC in pre-application meetings and is confident in its application. Due to its unique design, non-nuclear construction will begin on the Natrium reactor demonstration project this summer, while nuclear construction will begin after this application is approved. Upon completion, the Natrium plant will be a fully functioning commercial power plant.

“This submission marks another step toward bringing the Natrium reactor to market and revolutionizing how a nuclear reactor functions on the grid,” said Chris Levesque, President and CEO of TerraPower. “We will continue working closely with local stakeholders, elected officials and regulatory partners as we begin non-nuclear construction this year while working through this application process with the NRC. This milestone is one of many that paves the way toward clean, reliable and flexible power for the grid and long-term jobs for the Kemmerer community.”

The submission of this construction permit application represents another significant advancement for the Natrium project. Last month, TerraPower announced the second round of contracts for long-lead suppliers supporting the development of the Natrium reactor, strengthening the advanced nuclear supply chain throughout North America.

The Natrium technology is advanced nuclear design featuring a 345 MWe sodium-cooled fast reactor with a molten salt-based energy storage system. Other advantages of this Generation IV non-light-water reactor include improved fuel utilization, enhanced safety features and a streamlined plant layout that will require less overall materials to construct. The Natrium storage technology can boost the system’s output to 500 MWe for more than five and a half hours when needed. This innovative addition allows a Natrium plant to integrate seamlessly with renewable resources and leads to faster, more cost-effective decarbonization of the electric grid while producing dispatchable carbon-free energy. The Natrium demonstration plant is being constructed near a retiring coal facility.  

[1] Natrium is a TerraPower and GE Hitachi technology