April 23, 2021
TerraPower and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) recently announced the new Natrium™ technology, one of the world’s fastest and lowest-cost paths to providing world-changing, advanced clean energy. It is the result of the two companies’ efforts to combine their extensive experience with sodium technology to create a flexible and cost-competitive product that is designed to offer execution certainty. The Natrium technology also supports load following, energy storage and industrial process heat applications.
The Natrium technology has a 345MWe sodium fast reactor coupled with a molten salt-based integrated energy storage system that will provide clean, flexible energy and stability for the grid. It seamlessly integrates into power grids with high penetrations of renewables and can be optimized for specific markets. For example, the storage technology can boost the system’s output to 500MWe of power for more than five and a half hours when needed. It also benefits from the lessons learned from previous salt-based storage systems.
The Natrium technology’s sodium fast reactor produces heat, which can be used to generate electricity immediately or be contained in thermal storage reserves for hours. This innovative combination with energy storage allows the reactor to operate at a steady state, supporting the increased use of renewables and helping utilities capture more daily electricity revenue. As more and more renewables are integrated into the grid, the demand for gigawatt-hourscale energy storage will continue to increase.
Zander Mausolff received a Bachelor of Science in physics from the University of San Francisco in December of 2014. As his interests shifted to nuclear engineering he traveled across the country to the University of Florida (UF) to pursue a Ph.D. After his first year at Florida, Zander was awarded a Department of Energy Nuclear Engineering Universities Program (DoE-NEUP) fellowship to fund his Ph.D research. This fellowship made it possible to travel and work closely with Idaho National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory. After graduation he moved to the Seattle area and had a stint as a software developer for a company developing an environmental fluid dynamics code. Currently, he works as a Senior Nuclear Safety engineer at TerraPower.