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Will 'molten salt' nuclear plants replace coal in Utah?

KZMU Image2.jpg
Michael Stoddard
/
Brigham Young University
A molten salt nuclear reactor research lab is seen at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. A similar but larger version is planned for the San Rafael Research Center in Emery County, Utah.

Coal-producing Emery County is one of the only regions in Utah to have seen a drop in population in the last decade.

And those that remain have lost good paying jobs as the state transitions away from coal.

A new research facility wants to bring back revenue and jobs by experimenting with a number of new technologies.

One of those projects is a type of nuclear reactor some think could be the future of power.

Justin Higginbottom of public radio station KZMU reports as part of a series on the transition away from fossil fuels for the Rocky Mountain Community Radio coalition.

Justin Higginbottom works for KZMU in Moab, Utah. Justin joined KZMU News in 2021 as a reporter. His first journalism gig was at a newspaper in Salt Lake City. After that he moved to Cambodia to work for an English-language daily. He lived across Asia and the Middle East, writing features on culture and conflict, before coming back home to Utah.