The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently held a meeting in Kemmerer letting the public know there will be opportunities to get involved in the permitting process for Terra Power’s proposed natrium nuclear plant.
That’s great since public input is important. However, I wonder how the NRC thinks the public can comment on and get involved in something where all of the main details have been kept secret.
Time and time again NRC staff couldn’t answer questions, saying things like some details are proprietary and can’t be released to the public, or we won’t know that until applications are filed in March 2024.
How long must we put our blind faith in a company whose only response has been “everything is on track”?
This is also true for any information about the cost of the proposed power plant.
We know the feds have guaranteed up to $2 billion to cover the very expensive price of this experimental nuclear project. But what we don’t know is how much we’re going to have to start paying for this project every month through our power bills.
A simple Google search shows that nuclear power isn’t cheap and projects routinely have cost overruns, caused from escalating labor and construction costs and technology risks.
If the NRC truly wants public engagement in the project, the agency - and the company it is regulating - needs to disclose a lot more information to help us weigh the pros and cons of this facility.
Transparency is a universal value - something all Wyomingites deserve. I hope as Terra Power moves along in the permitting process that they become more open and honest with the public and especially their future power customers.