TerraPower

TerraPower

Nuclear reactor design company founded by a group that includes Bill Gates. In addition to efficient nuclear power, TerraPower is also researching the how the heat generated by nuclear reactions could be used for purposes other than turning steam turbines.

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.

Timeline

2019

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.

2019

Expansion of laboratory space

In 2019 TerraPower expanded their laboratory space to a 65,000 square foot lab located in Everett, Washington.

2017

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.

2016

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.

2015

Cooperation with China National Nuclear Corporation

In 2015 TerraPower signed a MOU for cooperation with China National Nuclear Corporation for their TWR program development.

2015

Laboratory expansion

In 2015 TerraPower expanded its laboratory to a 10,000 square foot research and development facility that will focus on advanced nuclear energy technologies.

September 26, 2012

Acquired by Littlefuse

On September 26, 2012 TerraPower was acquired by Littelfuse for $10.6 million.

2012

TerraPower identifies molten salt reactors as a research technology

2012

Laboratory operational

In 2012 TerraPower's own laboratory began operations.

2012

Launch of test reactor radiation and ion radiation program

In 2012 TerraPower announced establishing their test reactor irradiation and ion radiation programs.

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People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Bill Gates

Chairman & Co-Founder

Christian Blessing

Director of Business Development

Eric Williams

Director of Engineering

Jeff Latkowski

Senior Vice President, Innovation

Jeff Navin

Director of External Affairs

Mike Shaqqo

Vice President Commercial Operations

Nathan Myhrvold

Vice Chairman of the Board & Co-Founder

Rob Corbin

Chief Engineer Sodium Fast Reactor Technology

Tara Neider

Senior Vice President Program Development and Lab Facilities

Tom Hughes

Senior Vice President, Engineering

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

About TerraPower

Web

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

Academic paper

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

References

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