Big projects often face multiple delays. Most problems are unforeseen.

The first of many coming delays for the new nuclear plant in Kemmerer Wyoming has occurred before ground has even been broken.

Work on the plant will begin in 2023.

The start date has been pushed back 2030, according to TerraPower. But that is still just a projection.

The reason given, Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Russia is the only commercial supplier of the highly enriched uranium (HALEU) the plant needs to run.

“ February 2022, 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 for others in our industry,” TerraPower CEO Chris Levesque said in the release.

So why not just use American uranium?

America is currently not producing any.

Levesque went on to say that the company is working with U.S. Congress, the Department of Energy (DOE) and other stakeholders to find a way to source the special fuel in the U.S.

But we know how slow congress and D.C. bureaucracy. works.

“I think this might actually give our Wyoming uranium industry a little more time to put things together to provide that uranium,” Brian Muir, the city administrator for Kemmerer, said. “So, I see more positives than negatives.”

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso is leading efforts in Congress to allocate additional funding to producing the special fuel needed. (Wyoming Public Media).

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“TerraPower’s announcement underscores what I’ve been saying for years: America must reestablish itself as the global leader in nuclear energy. Instead of relying on our adversaries like Russia for uranium, the United States must produce its own supply of advanced nuclear fuel,” said Barrasso in a statement.

The project will be built using both public and private money.

Congress has laid out $2 billion for the TerraPower project.

TerraPower is asking for more. They would like an additional $2.1 billion.

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