By Virginia Giorgis
Bridger Valley Pioneer
Via- Wyoming News Exchange
LYMAN — A meeting was held Tuesday in Kemmerer during which the proposed TerraPower nuclear plant was discussed and residents questioned the timeline and safety of the proposed plant.
The meeting, held by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, played to a full house as concerned residents were on hand to hear how the plant would be operated and the safety provisions would be implemented at the TerraPower nuclear plant near Kemmerer.
TerraPower has not yet submitted an application for construction, so many of the questions Kemmerer residents had about the plant do not yet have specific answers, according to the story in Cowboy State Daily Wednesday.
Cindy Miller, a person who had worked for Williams Energy Services for 27 years, asked about the timeline.
She said Kemmerer was originally told the company would bring in dirt in November. She said this hasn’t happened, and the company still didn’t have a permit for dirt.
Ray Hayden of Evanston took another stance, as he was for the project and thought it would be “a great addition to Wyoming” as a cleaner method for providing power.
He said he has followed the project since it was first proposed. Hayden also anticipated, if the project works out, he hoped similar projects would also crop up across Wyoming.
In addition to the economic benefit the proposed plant would provide to Kemmerer and the surrounding area, it is also seen as a good project that would help the hurt that is expected because Rocky Mountain Power had already announced it was closing the coal-powered plant in Kemmerer where it employs 110 workers.
The nuclear reactor is projected to employ 150 to 200 workers once it’s fully operational.
Those at the meeting also questioned the safety factor of the proposed nuclear reactor. They were concerned about the plant’s water consumption, waste transportation and storage, in addition to how the plant would fare during an earthquake.
“Are there minimum seismic standards?” one member of the audience asked, pointing out that Lincoln County has had earthquakes in the past.
There were also concerns about the inspection schedule that would be used at the reactor.
According to Advanced Reactor Licensing Branch 1 Chief Bill Jessup, “That’s something the NRC will examine.”
In discussions to date with TerraPower, the company has indicated that some spent fuel will be stored on site and eventually moved into dry casks. This is similar to how it’s handled at existing nuclear reactors, Jean reported Wednesday. A spent fuel pool is radioactive material that’s typically stored under water so the fuel doesn’t degrade the containers it’s ultimately placed in.