Utility, small nuclear reactor firm select Wyoming as next U.S. site

WASHINGTON, June 2 (Reuters) - The governor of coal-reliant western state Wyoming on Wednesday announced that small-scale nuclear reactor firm TerraPower and PacifiCorp have selected his state to be the site of the second U.S. modular nuclear reactor that will be built on the site of a retiring coal plant.

TerraPower and Pacificorp announced they will advance a Natrium reactor demonstration project at a retiring coal plant in Wyoming and are evaluating several potential locations in the state.

Small modular reactors, or advanced or modular nuclear reactors, are regarded by some as a critical carbon-free technology that power grids will need to supplement intermittent sources like wind and solar as states strive to decarbonize their power plant fleets.

“This is our fastest and clearest course to becoming carbon negative,” Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon said. “Nuclear power is clearly a part of my all-of-the-above strategy for energy in Wyoming.”

He said the plant will replace a coal-fired power plant and help Wyoming reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while continuing to use fossil fuels.

Reporting by Valerie Volcovici