TerraPower raises $750 million for nuclear innovation

Bill Gates’ nuclear innovation company, Terrapower,  has secured at least $750 million in new funding.

The funding was co-led by Gates and SK, one of South Korea’s largest energy providers, invested $250 million.

The money will be used to develop nuclear energy technology and innovations in nuclear medicine, according to a statement from the group.

“Whether it’s addressing climate change with carbon-free advanced nuclear energy, or fighting cancer with nuclear isotopes, our team is deploying technology solutions and investors across the world are taking note,” Chris Levesque, the CEO of TerraPower, said.

Nuclear energy has been undergoing a renaissance because the energy created by nuclear reactors doesn’t release the greenhouse gasses that cause climate change. There is, however, long-lasting nuclear waste that has to be stored carefully.

TerraPower is working with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, a division of General Electric, to commercialise the Natrium system. 

This includes a smaller reactor than the conventional ones used in the United States and a molten salt energy storage system that allows the microreactor to increase its energy output for short periods of time as needed.

TerraPower also wants to commercialise a kind of molten salt reactor technology that could be used to provide carbon-free energy to heavy industrial operations, such as water treatment plants and chemical processors.

The company is building the Travelling Wave Reactor, which it says will use mined uranium 30 times more efficiently and greatly reduces nuclear waste.