Monday, December 19, 2011

China will buy nuclear power tech. How about the US?

Bill Gates is taking his nuclear power project to China; he was welcomed. The US is fighting it tooth and nail, except for an occasional Obama photo op.

Gates and partner Nathan Myrvold are negotiating to sell their breakthrough traveling wave reactor technology to China's National Nuclear Corporation. TerraPower’s “fourth generation” nuclear technology promises to revolutionize the energy sector within two decades by making it possible to power a nuclear plant with depleted uranium for decades at a time, without the need for refueling or waste removal.

Washington Post
…TerraPower is one of a handful of nuclear power start-ups tagged as the future of the industry. What makes TerraPower so important is not the megawatt star power of Bill Gates — it’s the fact that the company has found a way to combine supercomputing technology with nuclear power technology to create a future vision of cheap, sustainable energy. Traveling wave reactor technology makes it possible - at least theoretically - to power a nuclear plant for decades without the need for re-fueling or waste removal. 
Imagine being able to power entire cities or industries with cheap, plentiful energy. If nuclear technology is still viewed with apprehension within the U.S., it’s much more attractive abroad, especially for governments like China that have massive population growth and the need to power immense new mega-cities. Even Japan, humbled by last year’s nuclear reactor core breakdown at Fukushima, has shown interest in the Bill Gates nuclear technology.