TerraPower is a leading nuclear innovation company that strives to improve the world through nuclear energy and science. TerraPower acts as an incubator and developer of ideas and technologies that offer energy independence, environmental sustainability, medical advancement and other cutting-edge opportunities. TerraPower actively works to bring together the strengths and experiences of the world’s public and private nuclear research and energy sectors. The company was founded by Bill Gates and a group of like-minded visionaries who decided that the private sector needed to take action in developing advanced nuclear answers for pressing global needs.
TerraPower’s main focus is the development of safer, cheaper, more efficient nuclear reactors, with an emphasis on two design concepts known as traveling wave reactors and molten chloride fast reactors. TerraPower also works on next-generation uses for coal. The company is part of a team that includes Ramaco Carbon which received more than $1 million in federal funding, from the US Department of Energy, to develop an emissions-free process to produce carbon fiber from coal.
Ramaco Carbon is looking for higher-technology uses for the carbon from coal, such as advanced products like carbon fibers, to increase its value and lower the environmental footprint from its use. Carbon fiber is used in high-end, high-performance products. TerraPower has conducted research into how the heat generated by nuclear reactions could be used for purposes other than turning steam turbines, one of which could be an emissions-free process to transform biomass and fossil resources into useful products. TerraPower stated that they believe they can create carbon fiber precursor using elements of coal rather than the petrochemical product, poly acrylonitrile.
DOE awards TerraPower with $1 million for joint venture with Ramaco Carbon project
In 2019 DOE awarded TerraPower with $1 million in funding to support a joint venture with Ramaco Carbon project to create a high-value products from coal.
Expansion of laboratory space
In 2019 TerraPower expanded their laboratory space to a 65,000 square foot lab located in Everett, Washington.
Joint venture establish with China National Nuclear Corporation
In 2017 TerraPower announced a joint venture with China National Nuclear Corporation to co-develop TWR technology.
Awarded $40 million from U.S. Department of Energy
In 2016 TerraPower announced receiving a $40 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy for researching, designing, and testing the company's molten chloride fast reactor project.
Cooperation with China National Nuclear Corporation
In 2015 TerraPower signed a MOU for cooperation with China National Nuclear Corporation for their TWR program development.
In 2015 TerraPower expanded its laboratory to a 10,000 square foot research and development facility that will focus on advanced nuclear energy technologies.
Acquired by Littlefuse
On September 26, 2012 TerraPower was acquired by Littelfuse for $10.6 million.
TerraPower identifies molten salt reactors as a research technology
In 2012 TerraPower's own laboratory began operations.
Launch of test reactor radiation and ion radiation program
In 2012 TerraPower announced establishing their test reactor irradiation and ion radiation programs.
Chairman & Co-Founder
Director of Business Development
Director of Engineering
Senior Vice President, Innovation
Director of External Affairs
Vice President Commercial Operations
Vice Chairman of the Board & Co-Founder
Chief Engineer Sodium Fast Reactor Technology
Senior Vice President Program Development and Lab Facilities
Senior Vice President, Engineering
TerraPower, LLC traveling wave reactor development program overview
Pavel Hejzlar, Robert Petroski, Jesse Cheatham, Nick Touran, Michael Cohen, Bao Truong, Ryan Latta, Mark Werner, Tom Burke, Jay Tandy, Mike Garrett, Brian Johnson, Tyler Ellis, Jon McWhirter, Ash Odedra, Pat Schweiger, Doug Adkisson, John Gilleland
Documentaries, videos and podcasts
- Cluster: Clean technologyA process, product or service which reduces negative impacts on the environment while offering competitive returns for investors and customers. Clean technologies provide solutions which reduce energy usage, use sustainable resources or protect the environment.
- Cluster: Nuclear technologyA cluster of topics related to nuclear technology
- Traveling wave reactorA traveling-wave reactor (TWR) is a proposed type of nuclear fission reactor that can convert fertile material into usable fuel through nuclear transmutation, in tandem with the burnup of fissile material.
- Molten salt reactorClass of nuclear fission reactors with molten salt as the primary coolant or the fuel
- Nuclear energy
- Nuclear powerPower generated from sustained nuclear fission