Bill Gates building a NATRIUM, nuclear plant with Warren Buffet
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates introduced his new energy-related pilot project, NATRIUM, this week, saying “this is a turning point in the energy sector.” Gates has named a new type of nuclear power plant ‘Natrium’. He has also obtained a patent for it.
Bill Gates is working with Warren Buffet on this project. For which they are investing crores of rupees. The plant is being built in the US state of Wyoming, the country’s largest coal producer. The project is part of a goal to promote renewable energy that is frequently used in the fight against climate change.
Nuclear energy and renewable energy seem to contradict each other. But in some areas, these small and modern reactions are considered important technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supplying electricity during wind and solar energy shortages. It runs on different fuels than conventional fuels.
Terrapower, a company founded by Bill Gates 15 years ago, is working on a similar project. PacifiCorp, Warren Buffett’s energy company, is also involved. “The NATRIUM reactor and its integrated power system have many potentials in nuclear energy and can compete with it,” Terrapower said on its website.
Currently, its pilot project is being built on the site of a closed coal plant. But the location of the project will be decided by the end of this year. How does NATRIUM, work? According to Terrapower’s website, this is a new technology for energy production and storage.
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Which is used with rapid sodium reactor and storage technology from liquid salt. It has the capacity to generate 345 MW of electricity. According to the company, this storage technology can supply 500 MW of electricity in a period of five and a half hours as required. It can meet the electricity needs of about four lakh households.
According to Spain’s Nuclear Industry Forum, Natrium is a new technology aimed at simplifying existing reactor technology. This forum has developed this technology in collaboration with Terrapower. According to the forum, the nuclear reactor will use natural Neuronium and weak Neuronium as fuel.
In addition, all non-nuclear equipment will be housed in separate buildings. Due to which it will be easier to install and will also reduce the cost. The company’s chairman, Chris Levesque, said it would take about seven years to build the pilot plant, the first of its kind.
“We need this kind of clean energy in our system anyway by 2030,” he told reporters.
The project is also part of the US government’s Department of Energy’s Modern Reactor Demonstration Program. According to a report by Business Insider, Terrapower has also received an 80 million financial package from the US Department of Energy to move the Natrium project forward.
The department has also promised to provide additional grants to the project for the next few years. At the project’s event, Wyoming Governor Mark Cardon emphasized that this was the fastest and most obvious way to achieve the state’s goal of a negative carbon footprint.
“This small reactor will provide energy based on demand and reduce carbon emissions,” he wrote on Twitter. The construction and operation of this plant will also create hundreds of jobs. ‘However, there are concerns for such projects in some other areas.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a non-profit group advocating for science in the United States, has warned that modern reactors, such as NATRIUM, could pose a much greater threat than conventional ones.
“The technology is definitely different from existing reactors, but it’s not entirely clear whether it’s excellent,” UCS director Edwin Lyman told Reuters.
According to a report published by UCS, Lyman, author of “Modern Technology Is Not Always the Best,” believes it is worse in many areas, such as security, fears of violence, and nuclear proliferation.
In Lyman’s report, the group warns that some modern reactors will require more fuel upgrades than conventional fuels. This means that this fuel supply could be an easy target for terrorists trying to make weapons.
The group urges, “If nuclear energy plays a significant role in preventing climate change.” In that case, it is important for the new reactors to be safe and cheap. ‘