Nuclear technology development company TerraPower has raised $750 million to fund projects to build nuclear reactors and treat cancer with radioactive elements. A large share of the investment came from the founder and chairman of the company, Bill Gates, and the South Korean energy company SK.
TerraPower, founded by Bill Gates, has raised $750 million for innovations in nuclear power and medicine. The funding round was led by Gates and SK, one of South Korea's largest energy providers. SK has invested $250 million in Gates' company, CNBC reports.
The money will be used to develop nuclear energy technologies and innovations in nuclear medicine. TerraPower CEO Chris Levesque said his team is implementing technology solutions and investors around the world are taking note.
Those solutions could range from fighting climate change with carbon-free advanced nuclear power to fighting cancer with nuclear isotopes, he says. TerraPower is working with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, a division of General Electric, to commercialize the Natrium system. It includes a smaller reactor than conventional reactors used in the US and a molten sodium salt energy storage system that allows the microreactor to boost power production for short periods of time as needed.
TerraPower is currently working on a demonstration of its sodium reactor technology at a coal-fired power plant in Wyoming, which will soon be decommissioned. The project is being implemented in collaboration with the federal government through the US Department of Energy's Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP).
TerraPower wants to commercialize molten salt reactor technology that could be used to provide carbon-free energy to heavy industrial plants (water treatment plants, chemical plants and industrial consumers). The company is building a reactor that will use mined uranium 30 times more efficiently and significantly reduce the amount of nuclear waste.