The location was identified taking into account a series of factors, on the one hand the low seismicity of the area, on the other the presence of Naughton coal-fired power station, which will be closed permanently in 2025 and its facility will house the new TerraPower facility. A passage to which a symbolic value can also be attributed, from old methods to new solutions for energy production. The program contributes to the construction of the reactor US Department of Energy Advanced Reactor Demonstration, which will provide half of the necessary funds. The plan provides a life of about 60 years and a supply of 345 megawatts of electricity, with a prospect of increasing capacity up to 500 mw.
Natrium the innovative technique behind the reactor developed by TerraPower and GE-Hitachi: employs a sodium reactor to produce heat which can be used to generate electricity immediately or to be stored in thermal storage reserves for hours. As a coolant, instead of water, it will be used liquid metal sodium, which not only allows you to use 80% less concrete per mwe (unlike today’s reactors), but above all has a higher boiling point and can absorb more heat. This means inside the reactor the high pressure will not build up and consequently the risk of an explosion is considerably reduced. Another non-negligible aspect concerns the fact that the cooling systems can operate without an external energy source, a circumstance that limits the dangers in the event of an emergency stop. The heat accumulated by the molten salt which acts as a refrigerant can then be stored and used to create more energy electricity by generating steam.