SWEETWATER COUNTY — Representatives from Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) and TerraPower announced to the Sweetwater County Commission today that the new Natrium nuclear project will be located in Kemmerer.
Rock Springs, Gillette, and Glenrock were also in the running for the first facility. The Sweetwater County Commission congratulated Lincoln County after hearing the announcement.
“We hope we’re in line for the second one but in the same token, I see it as a win-win for Sweetwater County working closely with Lincoln County,” Chairman Randy Wendling said.
The nuclear facility project is estimated to cost roughly $4 billion and take about seven years to complete once construction permits are granted. The facility will generate roughly 250 on site full-time jobs, including plant security. According to project estimates, approximately 2,000 workers will be needed for construction at the project’s peak.
“The company selected the Kemmerer location, near the Naughton Power Plant, following an extensive evaluation process and meetings with community members and leaders,” TerraPower said in a press release.
The press release went on to say:
“People across Wyoming welcomed us into their communities over the past several months, and we are excited to work with PacifiCorp to build the first Natrium plant in Kemmerer,” said Chris Levesque, president and CEO of TerraPower. “Our innovative technology will help ensure the continued production of reliable electricity while also transitioning our energy system and creating new, good-paying jobs in Wyoming.”
The press release stated that the demonstration project team evaluated a variety of factors when selecting the site of the Naughton Power Plant, where the remaining two coal units are scheduled to retire in 2025. Factors included community support, the physical characteristics of the site, the ability of the site to obtain a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), access to existing infrastructure, and the needs of the grid.
“On behalf of Kemmerer and surrounding communities, we are pleased and excited to host the Natrium demonstration project. This is great for Kemmerer and great for Wyoming,” Kemmerer Mayor Bill Thek said.