Take one experimental climate project. Add nuclear. - National Radioactive Waste Coalition

Take one experimental climate project. Add nuclear.

CARLOS ANCHONDO | January 4, 2024 politico.com

An artist’s rendering of Project Bison, the largest proposed direct air capture facility in the United States.
An artist’s rendering of the Wyoming Regional Direct Air Capture Hub. | Courtesy of CarbonCapture

The Biden administration is poised to spend millions on a novel project that would pull carbon dioxide from the air, using energy from a new type of nuclear power plant.

If successful, the idea for the Wyoming Regional Direct Air Capture Hub would be a win-win: a facility that removes planet-warming pollution without emitting any itself. But some experts worry that wedding two nascent technologies — direct air capture and so-called small modular reactors — is too risky, writes Corbin Hiar.

“It adds complication upon complication,” Wil Burns, the co-director of American University’s Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy, told Corbin.

The idea comes from the climate technology company CarbonCapture, which submitted the hub proposal last year to the Department of Energy. The project is a front-runner for a $500 million award from the agency, which has $2.4 billion left to spend on advancing the deployment of direct air capture.

The company and its team have already received $12.5 million from DOE to carry out an engineering study of the Wyoming hub plan over the next two years.

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