Several scientists as well as eco-activists have voiced their objection against the founder of Microsoft Bill Gates’ nuclear power plant (NPP), believing that it is not required as there have been more “inexpensive and proven renewable energy alternatives,” citing the Common Dreams, Sputnik reported. Bill Gates has been a long-time supporter of nuclear energy, previously announcing that the little Wyoming town of Kemmerer was selected for the site of a pilot project to develop an advanced nuclear power station.
The city of Kemmerer now operates the “Naughton” coal-fired power plant, which is currently preparing to close its two existing coal blocks. By the middle of 2023, TerraPower, the firm that is building the plant, wants to create a demonstration facility in this location. In October, the US Department of Energy approved an $80 million subsidy for the construction, which is projected to be completed in the upcoming seven years.
Furthermore, the nuclear power plant will be built to exhibit Natrium technology, which employs sodium as the reactor’s coolant. The majority of waste from the regular nuclear power plants may be used as fuel in Natrium technology, which solves the problem of disposal and will be used as a recycled product. Furthermore, the technique is supposed to be safer and less expensive.
Bill Gates’ Nuclear Power Plant gets negative response
However, on the other hand, not every expert believes that Natrium would provide benefits over traditional nuclear power stations cooling water. Scientists have highlighted the fact that the liquid sodium is a very volatile substance that has a possibility of catching fire if exposed to air or water, Sputnik reported.
Natrium “is following in the footsteps of a 70-year-long record of sodium-cooled nuclear technological failures. Your plan to recycle those failures and resurrect liquid sodium again will siphon valuable public funds and research from inexpensive and proven renewable energy alternatives,” citing the statement of expert Arnie Gundersen from an open letter in August, Sputnik reported. According to research by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Sodium-cooled fast reactors have been considered to be less uranium-effective and would not lessen the quantity of waste that takes long isolation.
In addition to this, Bill Gates stated during the last month that nuclear power may contribute to the fight against climate change and that refusing to build the nuclear power station will have a detrimental influence on the energy supply. During an interview with the Germany-based newspaper Handelsblatt, Gates stated, “The demand for electricity will increase dramatically since we use it not only for our cars and heating our houses but also for rebuilding many factories in a new way.”
Meanwhile, as per Sputnik, there are a lot of unanswered issues, not only with the imprecise management of radioactive waste but also with the building of nuclear power plants, which are extraordinarily complex to build and expensive. Apart from these issues, uranium mining, processing, and refinement into nuclear fuel is an energy-intensive procedure with no safeguards against dangerous emissions.