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Kemmerer nuclear project secures millions in funding

Natrium Plant Terra Power
TerraPower
TerraPower will build its Natrium demonstration reactor at a retiring coal plant in Wyoming.

The nuclear project in Kemmerer has secured more funding, all but guaranteeing its development.

The TerraPower project, which is Bill Gates’ nuclear power company, raised $750 million in private investments. The money will support the development of the nuclear power plant in Kemmerer, making it the first of its kind in the state.

Brian Muir, Kemmerer’s city administrator, said some of the investors are in South Korea.

“I don’t know that we’ve ever had this kind of international attention, other than our fossil industry in which we export a lot of fossils, fossil fish capital of the world as you may know,” he said.

TerraPower initially announced that the company had chosen Kemmerer as the site for the project back in November. The nuclear plant will be where the current coal-fired Naughton Power Plant is located, which is slated to close its doors by 2025.

Muir said he and the city’s Mayor Bill Thek recently attended a national energy conference in Salt Lake City.

“They used Kemmerer as a case study for coal mine communities that want to become nuclear.,” Muir said.

TerraPower has completed soil testing on the site to make sure the area is ready for development. Muir said further development of the area will pick back up in spring 2023.

If everything goes to plan, the company said the nuclear project will create about 250 permanent jobs by 2028.

Caitlin Tan is the Energy and Natural Resources reporter based in Sublette County, Wyoming. Since graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2017, she’s reported on salmon in Alaska, folkways in Appalachia and helped produce 'All Things Considered' in Washington D.C. She formerly co-hosted the podcast ‘Inside Appalachia.' You can typically find her outside in the mountains with her two dogs.
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