Bill Gates' TerraPower to start building first US SMR Nuclear power plant in June

TerraPower will need special fuel for its Natrium reactor(s). They are using molten sodium coolant, and that usually uses metallic fuel. Most other nuclear plants use uranium oxide in a ceramic form. The Natrium fuel will also have a higher-than-normal U-235 enrichment, called HALEU.

TerraPower, along with Framatome, recently announced development of a facility to manufacture this metallic uranium. Framatome is a French company with a long history in nuclear power. Framatome is partially owned by EDF, the French nuclear reactor operator. The pilot metallisation plant will be built at the Hanford site in Washington state, where Framatome has other nuclear fuel facilities.

  • Pete
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There is a lot of work to be done to build the facility and to produce metallic uranium.

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Bill Gates shoveled some dirt in Kemmerer, WY yesterday.

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Here is a construction start that is more important than Bill Gates’ nuclear toy:

Long-awaited offshore wind hub breaks ground in Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Elizabeth Yeampierre stood near the edge of the Brooklyn waterfront earlier this week. A vast concrete lot stretched out before her, riddled with weeds and rain puddles, as the Manhattan skyline sparkled in the distance. For years, Yeampierre has fought to transform this vacant expanse into a hub for clean-energy industries — one that could bring much-needed jobs to the surrounding neighborhood of Sunset Park.

Now, that’s finally starting to happen.

On Monday, construction began on an offshore wind facility at the 73-acre lot known as the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. Equinor, the Norwegian energy giant, will use the site to receive and ship out the enormous wind turbines that it plans to install in the Atlantic Ocean. When completed in 2026, the facility will be one of the largest dedicated hubs serving offshore wind, a crucial energy industry that’s slowly emerging in the United States.

“It’s a landmark achievement, and it shows that we can become a model of a just transition,” Yeampierre, the executive director of UPROSE, said during a ground-breaking event. The grassroots organization primarily serves residents in Sunset Park, a largely working-class neighborhood of Asian, Latino, and immigrant communities.

​“An industrial sector that has had a long history in our communities of toxic exposure is now taking seriously our vision of a green reindustrialization,” Yeampierre said.

Later, she clutched a ceremonial shovel alongside New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) and other speakers beneath the blazing sun. Workers here will assemble and maintain the towers, blades, and components used for offshore wind installations, starting with Equinor’s 810-megawatt Empire Wind 1 project near Long Island. Subsea cables will connect that wind farm to the Brooklyn terminal’s new substation, delivering enough clean electricity to supply 500,000 homes.

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Five Things the “Nuclear Bros” Don’t Want You to Know About Small Modular Reactors

April 30, 2024

Even casual followers of energy and climate issues have probably heard about the alleged wonders of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs). This is due in no small part to the “nuclear bros”: an active and seemingly tireless group of nuclear power advocates who dominate social media discussions on energy by promoting SMRs and other “advanced” nuclear technologies as the only real solution for the climate crisis. But as I showed in my 2013 and 2021 reports, the hype surrounding SMRs is way overblown, and my conclusions remain valid today.

Unfortunately, much of this SMR happy talk is rooted in misinformation, which always brings me back to the same question: If the nuclear bros have such a great SMR story to tell, why do they have to exaggerate so much?

Here are five facts about SMRs that the nuclear industry and the “nuclear bros” who push its message don’t want you, the public, to know.

1. SMRs are not more economical than large reactors.

2. SMRs are not generally safer or more secure than large light-water reactors.

3. SMRs will not reduce the problem of what to do with radioactive waste.

4. SMRs cannot be counted on to provide reliable and resilient off-the-grid power for facilities, such as data centers, bitcoin mining, hydrogen or petrochemical production.

5. SMRs do not use fuel more efficiently than large reactors.