BWX Technologies (BWXT) has entered a two-year contract with the Wyoming Energy Authority to evaluate the feasibility of microreactor deployment in the state.

BWXT will work with Wyoming industries to define nuclear application requirements for supplying base heat and power to trona mining operations.

The company will perform engineering work to further the design of its integrated “BANR” microreactor system to integrate into Wyoming’s future power needs and meet the demands of potential end users in the state. This includes identifying areas where Wyoming’s existing supply chain can demonstrate capabilities for reactor component manufacturing.

This contract builds on BWXT’s partnerships with the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

Through the ARDP, BWXT and DOE have been developing the BANR microreactor since 2021. The company’s collaboration with INL began in May 2022.

BWXT said it anticipated that this project will enhance the potential for job creation, manufacturing and industrial opportunities in Wyoming’s nuclear power sector.

Wyoming is also expected to be home of another advanced nuclear reactor under development.

Bill Gates-backed TerraPower plans to build an experimental small modular reactor near a retiring coal plant. The company will build its Natrium plant in Kemmerer, a southwestern Wyoming city of 2,600 where the coal-fired Naughton power plant operated by PacifiCorp subsidiary Rocky Mountain Power is set to close.

The Natrium technology features a 345 MWe sodium-cooled fast reactor with a molten salt-based energy storage system. The storage technology can boost the system’s output to 500 MWe for more than five and a half hours when needed. TerraPower said this addition allows a Natrium plant to integrate well with renewable resources.

That project could be operational by the end of the decade.

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