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Kemmerer mayor, city administrator attend energy conference

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Via the Wyoming News Exchange

KEMMERER (WNE) — Kemmerer received attention at the Energy Communities Alliance conference for leading the way as the first community in the country to build a natrium nuclear reactor.

Kemmerer City Administrator Brian Muir and Mayor Bill Thek traveled to Kennewick, Washington, to attend the meeting and represent their town as a pioneer for TerraPower (a company co-founded by Bill Gates) in building a first-of-its-kind advanced Natrium nuclear reactor.

With heavy hitters at the forum, including representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, the meeting brought together federal, state, and local governments to identify opportunities and challenges as well as build the partnerships necessary to support nuclear development.

Muir and Thek spoke about nuclear waste being stored safely on site in a nuclear depository until it can be transported to a permanent location.

“It is safer than it ever has been, and there are companies who are prepared to create jobs with the waste industry,” Muir said.

He said it is important to have public dialogue and engagement especially where there are concerns such as nuclear waste storage. He also said agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Economic Development, Department of Energy, and Nuclear Regulatory Commission have all come to Kemmerer to ensure safety.

Muir said Kemmerer was referred to throughout the conference, especially regarding Bill Gates’ committed investment to the community.

“We are the first to market nuclear power to the grid with small modular reactors,” he said. Muir said people at the conference told him they are jealous of what is coming to the Kemmerer economy.

“It is going well, proving itself and giving people hope. Kemmerer is a prototype for this project and a front runner in this new nuclear renaissance,” he said.

Gates will visit Kemmerer on June 10 for a groundbreaking ceremony at the TerraPower nuclear reactor site.

This story was published on May 21, 2024.

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