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Nuclear announcement expands state's reputation as energy capitol of the nation

A prototype nuclear facility promises to bolster Wyoming’s status as the nation’s leader in energy production even as the states once-dominant thermal coal mines continue a prolonged meltdown.

This week’s announcement that the Cowboy State will be home to the state-of-the-art Natrium nuclear reactor demonstration project is one of the rare times that deserves the often-used cliché “game-changer.”

Natrium reactor rendering

This rendering shows a potential campus for the Natrium reactor, a state-of-the-art modular nuclear facility that will be located in Wyoming at a yet-to-be-determined site of a retiring coal-fired power plant.

Natrium reactor rendering

The Natrium reactor demonstration project features a nuclear power facility with a smaller footprint that can scale to its location, which will be at the site of a retired coal-fired power plant.

Bill Gates TerrsPower

TerraPower founder and chairman Bill Gates speaks to the crowd in a recorded video message during a press conference announcing efforts to advance a Natrium reactor demonstration project at a retiring coal plant Wednesday at the Wyoming Capitol in downtown Cheyenne. The location of the project is set to be announced later this year.

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Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, left, and U.S. Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., smile and joke during a press conference announcing efforts to build a Natrium reactor demonstration project in Wyoming.

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U.S. Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., speaks during the press conference announcing efforts to advance a Natrium reactor demonstration project at a retiring coal plant Wednesday, June 2, 2021, inside the Wyoming Capitol in downtown Cheyenne. The location of the project is set to be announced later this year. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

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