New Nuclear Power Plant coming to Wyoming

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:40 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Rocky Mountain Power, Terra Power and Gov. Gordon’s office has announced that nuclear power is coming to Wyoming.

The U.S. Leads the world in nuclear production, sitting at 20 percent of our overall American power generation. Wyoming is also the nation’s leader in uranium production.

Last year Wyoming produced less than 500 thousand pounds of Uranium with 200 employees. A stark difference from the 197o’s, when Wyoming produced 12 million pounds a year due to the demand, with 5300 people employed in the uranium industry.

“Nuclear power is really the only source that is emission-free, and can provide the reliability and dispatch-ability that we need to power our country into the future,“ said Travis Deti- Executive Director - Wyoming Mining Association

This facility would also help remove the U.S. dependency on foreign Uranium, which is our part of our biggest obstacle to our national capacity to enrich Uranium. This may change if the plant is successful and leads to greater demand.

“Frankly in Wyoming we have the energy infrastructure on the ground, we have the miners on the ground. I think the potential is there to develop those enrichment capacities in the state of Wyoming you know, the potential is huge, ” says Deti.

This pilot project will take seven years to get up and producing.

“We can continue to develop our coal resource and use coal into the future with carbon-capture use and storage technology. Which Wyoming in on the forefront of, and we can walk and chew gum at the same time. And we can get back on the field as far as nuclear goes. so, Wyoming is well positioned to play a role in both of those,” says Deti.

The Wyoming power partnership will build the Natrium power plant, a small modular reactor and will employ the same amount of people that run a coal facility.

Locations are still being scouted, with four potential spots being Kemmerer, Sweetwater county, Converse county and Gillet. This major utility will create great economic opportunities for Wyoming.

The final location decision is expected by the end of the year.

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