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Wyoming nuclear energy project advances to phase 2; completion in Q3 2025

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GILLETTE, Wyo. — Energy developers are advancing with the second phase of a project intended to assess the viability of establishing nuclear energy sources in Wyoming, with completion expected by late 2025. 

The $20 million cost-share project is a collaborative effort between the Wyoming Energy Authority and BWX Technologies Inc. The project is intended to assess the viability of deploying small-scale nuclear reactors in the state as a source of resilient and reliable energy to augment existing power generation resources, according to a June 17 news release. 

Per BWXT, the recently awarded second phase includes a contract to complete the conceptual design of a lead microreactor unit, develop a regulatory engagement plan and microreactor fleet model and demonstrate the Wyoming supply chain’s ability to manufacture nuclear components. 

According to the release, since 2021, BWXT and the U.S. Department of Energy have been developing a microreactor: the BWXT Advanced Nuclear Reactor. It is a unit light enough to be transported by rail, ship or truck and can deliver up to 50 megawatts of thermal nuclear power. 

Joe Miller, BWXT president, says there is extraordinary support in Wyoming for the opportunities for microreactor deployment. He says stakeholder meetings have been very productive and workshops with potential local vendors in Gillette, Casper and Cheyenne have been well attended. 

“We look forward to taking this next step forward with the Wyoming Energy Authority and very much appreciate the vision of a clean, reliable, and practical energy future demonstrated by both Governor Mark Gordon and the Authority’s Executive Director Rob Creager,” Miller said in a statement. 

Per the release, phase one has been ongoing with BWXT working with the Wyoming Energy Authority to define the requirements for nuclear applications of base heat and power needs for remote, off-grid applications within the state. 

During the first phase, BWXT also performed microreactor system engineering work that could support Wyoming’s future power needs and identified areas where Wyoming’s existing supply chain could demonstrate capabilities for reactor component manufacturing and support reactor deployment. 

With the second phase award, Wyoming Energy Authority Executive Director Rob Creager expressed eagerness to advance and stated the completion of the first phase confirms his agency’s vision of why nuclear has so much potential in Wyoming — from uranium production to manufacturing to industrial applications. 

“As the world’s demand for reliable, affordable baseload power only increases over the next fifty years, we see nuclear as a valuable investment to Wyoming’s already robust energy portfolio,” Creager said in a statement. 

Phase two of the project is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2025, per the release.

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