Bill Gates wants to be a nuclear power player and has forged a deal with his company, Terra Power, and Toshiba to develop nuclear energy using new technology known as ‘traveling-wave reactors’. With this type of reactor it uses depleted uranium that is being claimed could last for 60 to 100 years or more. Bill Gates company, Terra Power, believes that this energy source could have the potential to power our energy needs for thousands of years to come.
TerraPower explains the science behind traveling-wave reactors:
A nuclear fission reactor produces and controls the release of energy from splitting atoms of certain heavy elements. The nuclear power plants of today require a full core of fuel made from enriched uranium. The TWR, in contrast, initially contains only a small amount of enriched uranium, which is used to kick off the chain reaction through a core of depleted uranium. The wave of fission would move slowly through this depleted uranium core, splitting many more of the uranium atoms than a conventional reactor would.
Though the first reactors will only be able to produce about 500 megawatt of power, it is hoped that future reactors will hit gigawatt-sized.
So what do you think? Is going nuclear the way to go to get us out of the energy crisis?