TerrraPower announced Tuesday, Dec. 13 that the Natrium Nuclear Reactor power plant will be delayed at least two years. The new expected start date is now 2030, instead of the previous planned start date of 2028.
In a released statement the delay is related to the unavailability of the nuclear fuel HALEU (High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium) due to the Russian war in Ukraine. According to the statement, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused the only commercial source of HALEU fuel to no longer be a viable part of the supply chain for TerraPower, as well as others in the industry.
“When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, it put a big question mark up for us,” said Jeff Navin, TerraPower’s director of external affairs. “We had a plan. It was a very aggressive timeline; we felt pretty confident that we could meet it. But it was all predicated on having our first coreload of fuel come from Russia.”
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