TerraPower, a nuclear innovation company founded by Bill Gates, announced on the 15th of August that the firm had secured a minimum amount of US$750 million in new funding.

Bill Gates (the founder and chairman of TerraPower), and SK (one of the largest energy providers in South Korea), collectively contributed to this funding. SK invested US$250mn in funding.

As per a statement from TerraPower, the collective amount raised in this funding will be spent on developing nuclear energy technology and making advancements in nuclear medicine.

Chris Levesque, CEO of TerraPower, stated that the team’s main motive is to focus on finding technology solutions when it comes to addressing climate change with carbon-free advanced nuclear energy or fighting cancer with nuclear isotopes. He further stated that investors all over the globe are considering solutions.

Nuclear energy created by reactors doesn’t emit greenhouse gases that result in climate change over time; this is the main reason behind the energy undergoing revitalization. On the other hand, nuclear waste is real, has long-lasting impacts, and must be stored very carefully.
What is TerraPower Currently Working On?

To achieve the commercialization of the Natrium system, TerraPower and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy are working together. GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a nuclear alliance created by General Electric along with Hitachi to provide nuclear services and advanced reactors. This project includes comparatively smaller reactors than conventional ones used in the US and are molten salt energy storage systems, as they allow small-sized reactors to increase their energy as needed for a short time.

TerraPower is currently working on demonstrating its Natrium technology reactor at a coal plant in Wyoming. This project is a part of the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) in collaboration with the federal government.

TerraPower also aims to promote this type of molten salt reactor technology, as this technology can provide carbon-free energy generally needed for heavy and complex industrial operations, such as chemical processors, water treatment plants, and heavy industrial uses. The nuclear innovation firm is also creating a Traveling Wave Reactor, which, according to the company, will have the ability to use mined uranium 30 times more efficiently; in addition to this, it will also dramatically lessens nuclear waste. The company also expects to contribute to treating cancer through its TerraPower Isotopes program.

A small quantity of minimal radioactive materials can be used to treat some specific cancers. Actinium-225, one of the radioactive materials in this category, can be helpful in treating lymphoma, prostate cancer, melanoma, and many other cancers. TerraPower is currently working to make advancements in the process of extracting Thorium-229, which is an essential element tin creating Actinium-225. This can be achieved by using sources of Uranium-233 that the Department of Energy is now managing.

As the amount of Actinium-225 is not sufficiently available to meet demand, therefore as said by TerraPower, the firm will use its “unique access” to Actinium-225 to provide the isotope to the pharmaceutical industry.