How Bill Gates’ company TerraPower is building next-generation nuclear power


When Bill Gates started learning about nuclear power innovation, "I was skeptical, but also intrigued," he wrote on his Gates Notes blog in 2019.Like many people, Gates' opinion of nuclear power had been tinged by past disastrous accidents such as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.But Gates was also interested in the potential of nuclear power as a clean energy.After reading a paper about a new generation of nuclear reactors built with technical advancements to guard against such accidents, Gates founded TerraPower in 2008 to realize the benefits of these innovations.Selected by the U.S. federal government to demonstrate the viability of nuclear power through its Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP), TerraPower aims to build "fully functional advanced nuclear reactor within 7 years of the award," according to the Office of Nuclear Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy."We envision a 2050 grid that is powered by very significant wind and solar power, but is complemented by" Terra Power nuclear reactors, more...