Bill Gatess move aims to address climate change and help utilities cut global warming emissions without compromising the reliability of the grid.
TerraPower LLC, which gates founded 14 years ago, and its partner, Ge Hitachi nuclear, plan to commercialize the natrium nuclear power plant in the United States later this year, said Chris Levesque, President and CEO of TerraPower.
Levesque said the companies were seeking more funding from private partners and the U.S. Department of energy, backed by Pacific Corp., owned by billionaire Berkshire Hathaway, as well as Northwest energy and Duke energy.
Levesque said that if successful, the plants are planned to be built in the United States and abroad. By 2050, were going to see hundreds of these reactors around the world, addressing a variety of different energy needs, Levesque said.
These 345 megawatt plants will be cooled by liquid sodium and cost about $1 billion each.
Nuclear power is a top source of electricity with almost no emissions, but many nuclear power plants in the United States are shutting down due to high costs and competition from solar and wind energy. Critics of nuclear power also warn that small nuclear power is even more expensive than conventional nuclear power.
However, the new plants are designed to supplement a renewable power source by storing reactor power in molten salt tanks on days when the grid is fully supplied. When solar and wind power is reduced due to weather conditions, nuclear power can be used later.
Nonproliferation experts warn that advanced nuclear power projects could be targeted because their uranium fuel will be more highly enriched and easier to convert into fissionable material than conventional fuels.
Levesque said the plants would reduce the risk of proliferation because they reduced the overall nuclear waste.
The it home learned that Gates initially hoped to build an experimental nuclear power plant near Beijing with the state-owned China nuclear industry group. But last year, TerraPower was forced to find new partners after the trump administration restricted nuclear trading with China.
Source: it house Author: ocean ocean responsible editor: Mao Xinsi_ NBJS11624