Innovation from TerraPower Company

  • TerraPower maintains a focus on generating new ideas from internal experts representing a cross-section of various specialized disciplines.
  • Unconventional thinking helps develop ideas and concepts that allow enlightened scientific discovery.
  • This commitment to innovating for impact adds a growing diversity to its nuclear science endeavors.
  • TerraPower has created a 10,000-square-foot laboratory to aid in developing and exploring its innovative work in components, fuels, materials and other technologies.
  • The space allows for scaled-up testing to support existing projects.
  • This helps further develop and refine testing and analytical techniques to ensure that they will be valid for prototype testing.
  • TerraPower will continue to depend on its cadre of scientists, theorists and sages to expand the boundaries of scientific possibility, while making a positive impact.
  • As the company’s existing and developing breakthroughs illustrate, the revolutionary ideas that pulse through the TerraPower team are already confronting the world’s most pressing challenges head-on.

References:

“Innovation.” Innovation TerraPower, TerraPower, terrapower.com/technologies/innovation.

TerraPower: Leading Nuclear Innovation Company

  • TerraPower has emerged 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.
  • TerraPower was founded when Bill Gates and a group of like-minded visionaries decided that the private sector needed to take action in developing advanced nuclear answers for pressing global needs.

References:

“About.” About TerraPower, TerraPower, terrapower.com/about.

Looking to The Future For Small Scale Nuclear

  • Small-scale nuclear is gaining popularity Enthusiasts include Microsoft’s Bill Gates, who’s backing a company called TerraPower.
  • At the industry’s Nuclear Energy Institute, policy head Paul Genoa says minireactors might appeal to smaller utilities or foreign buyers who can’t afford $5 billion for a big power plant.
  • And cheaper kinds of power — coal and natural gas, for example — may not look so good as more governments tax or limit climate-warming carbon from power plants. Nuclear reactors don’t emit carbon.
  • The price that small-scale nuclear researchers are competing with is not the price of a big nuclear plant today, or natural gas today.
  • It’s what it will be in 2020, and it’s what it will be in different parts of the world.
  • One current example of small scale nuclear devices are used in order to power Navy submarines

References:

Joyce, Christopher. “Is The Future Of Nuclear Power In Minireactors?” NPR, NPR, 6 June 2011, www.npr.org/2011/06/06/137004383/is-the-future-of-nuclear-power-in-mini-reactors.

Rethinking Nuclear Power, On The Small Scale

  • Boiling water reactors, or BWR, were developed in the 1950s by Idaho National Energy Laboratory and General Electric. They use heat created by nuclear fission to generate steam that powers a turbine. Today, there are more than 90 BWRs operating in the world, and 35 of these are in the U.S. The diagram above is based on the design of the stricken BWRs at Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Plant.
  • Size: Traditional nuclear reactors are so large, they must be assembled on-site. The steel vessel that will hold the fuel is typically larger than 25 feet in diameter, and the only company with the equipment to build such a vessel in one piece is based in Japan.
  • Minireactor designs range in size from 60 feet tall and 14 feet wide to just 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide – advertised as “hot-tub sized.” This means they can be completely manufactured in the U.S. Some companies intend to have fuel sealed inside and ready to go, so each reactor can be shipped as a modular unit to a plant.
  • Cost Vs. Power Electrical Output: ~ 400 – 1,500 MWe  Average Cost: ~ $5 billion – $15 billion
  • Safety: BWRs require outside power for their cooling systems to function in an emergency. Reactors that are aboveground are potentially more vulnerable to natural disasters and attacks.

References:

“Rethinking Nuclear Power, On The Small Scale.” NPR, NPR, 6 June 2011, www.npr.org/2011/06/06/136930453/graphic-rethinking-nuclear-power-on-the-small-scale.

California’s Pro-Nuclear Renegade

  • Michael Shellenberger, a pro-nuclear Democrat, makes a longshot bid for California governor.
  • Shellenberger is among the world’s foremost advocates for nuclear energy, and one of the fiercest critics of renewables.
  • While his pro-nuclear stance separates him from nearly every other Democratic politician, his willingness to call out fellow Democrats on energy policy has made him one of the most important voices on the left — particularly in California, where, by 2030, the state’s utilities must obtain half of the electricity they sell from renewable sources.
    References:

Bryce, Robert. “California’s Pro-Nuclear Renegade.” National Review, National Review, 23 Mar. 2018, www.nationalreview.com/2018/03/michael-shellenberger-candidate-california-governor-pro-nuclear-democrat/.

Assessing The Future Of Nuclear Power In The U.S.

Radio Show: NPR

<iframe src=”https://www.npr.org/player/embed/134568574/134568570″ width=”100%” height=”290″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” title=”NPR embedded audio player”></iframe>

 

References:

“Assessing The Future Of Nuclear Power In The U.S.” NPR, NPR, 15 Mar. 2011, www.npr.org/2011/03/15/134568574/assessing-the-future-of-nuclear-power-in-the-u-s.

St. Lawrence University