EVERETT — TerraPower, an energy company that operates a 65,000 square foot research facility near Paine Field, has signed an agreement with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
The companies plan to share data and resources to develop advanced sodium fast reactor technology, which could prove safer than existing nuclear power plants.
by TerraPower The long-term goal is to develop commercially viable power plants.
“The United States and Japan have a long history of working together to advance nuclear power technology, safety and security,” TerraPower said in a statement.
“As a nuclear innovation company, we value learning from each other with the broader global nuclear community and applying that expertise to ongoing efforts,” said Chris Levesque, President and CEO of TerraPower. .
“We appreciate the expertise the Japan Atomic Energy Agency will bring to our project, and we are confident that our program will help them as they consider advanced reactors in Japan,” Levesque said.
Toshio Kodaman, president of Japan’s atomic agency, said the effort “will contribute to the further development of cooperation between the United States and Japan on sodium-cooled fast reactors.” We believe this can provide Japan with a good opportunity to advance our sodium-cooled fast reactor technologies towards carbon neutrality.
Founded by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates more than 10 years ago, TerraPower plans to build a prototype nuclear reactor in southwest Wyoming that will test the engineering, construction and operation of the plant .
Because nuclear energy does not emit carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases, it is considered a carbon-free source of energy.
Unlike typical nuclear power plants that use water as a coolant, TerraPower’s sodium-cooled fast reactor uses liquid sodium as a coolant, allowing it to operate at lower pressures and higher temperatures , thus improving the safety and efficiency of the system, according to the United States. Office of Nuclear Energy.
TerraPower received an initial $80 million to build the plant through a competitive grant offered by the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program.
TerraPower is building the reactor in a public-private partnership with the Department of Energy, which is contributing $2 billion toward the plant’s licensing and construction costs. TerraPower matches that dollar for dollar.