Bill Gates is willing to invest billions in his startup’s nuclear plant

Bill Gates said he is prepared to invest billions of dollars in a next-generation nuclear power plant project in Wyoming to meet the United States’ growing electricity needs.

TerraPower LLC, a startup founded by Gates, broke ground on its first commercial reactor last week in Wyoming, where a coal plant is closing, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Corp. said on CBS. Face the nation. TerraPower has explored simpler, cheaper reactors since 2008 and hopes to complete the new reactor in 2030.

“I’ve put in over a billion and I’ll put in billions more,” said Gates, the sixth-richest person in the world according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The TerraPower plant, which is backed by the U.S. Department of Energy, was initially expected to be operational in 2028. But that would have meant relying on fuel from Russia, which is “unacceptable now,” Gates said in the CNN program. Fareed Zakaria GPS.

The reactor design uses liquid sodium as a coolant instead of water and includes molten salts that can store heat to increase its output. TerraPower plans to obtain reactor fuel from the United States and its allies, Gates said.

“Coal is being overtaken by natural gas,” Gates told CNN. “And then what we have to do is compete effectively with natural gas.”

Carbon-free nuclear power is increasingly seen as a key part of the fight against climate change, and more companies are promoting smaller reactors. Last year, 25 nations at the COP28 climate change conference in Dubai declared their ambition to triple nuclear capacity, according to BloombergNEF.

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