Bill Gates wants to compete with Rolls-Royce , which is battling to win a government contract.
TerraPower in Seattle, founded by Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates, has said that it is considering putting its hat in the ring to win lucrative contracts for the next generation of small modular reactors, or “mini-nukes” built in Britain.
In a post on his blog, Gates stated that the work of the nuclear energy company “has attracted interest from around the world”, citing agreements made with Japan, South Korea, and ArcelorMittal, a Luxembourg-based steel conglomerate.
TerraPower says its travelling wave reactor can “operate over centuries with unenriched Uranium fuel”. The company was founded in 2006. secured $830m in funding last summer.
The company’s Natrium plant uses a heat storage system based on molten sal, which will enable it to quickly boost its output during peak hours.
TerraPower said to the Sunday Times that “we are currently reviewing the opportunities [to deploy Natrium] within the UK.” The UK can offer a great deal in terms of the deployment and use of new nuclear technologies.
Rolls-Royce faces a fight to have its SMRs approved by the Government, after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that a tender would be held on the projects despite £210m in taxpayer money having already been invested.
Kwasi Kwarteng said that at the time, Rolls-Royce would be positioned as a “global leader in innovative nuclear technology we can export elsewhere”.
Last summer, , the British engineering firm, appointed Tufanerginbilgic as its new chief executive. He described the company as a burning platform that needed to evolve, or die.
He said to his staff: “We destroy value with every investment we make”. Tom Samson was sacked from Rolls-Royce in March after Mr Erginbilgic announced a revamp of the top team. He had been leading the SMR division, which began in 2020, since its creation.
Rolls-Royce has not responded to a comment request.
dozens of other nuclear energy startups are competing for the right to put their designs into operation, and Rolls-Royce is competing with companies like GE-Hitachi Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Westinghouse Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and GE-Hitachi.
Last Energy signed an agreement in March to sell 24 Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).
Last Energy is still waiting for regulatory approval of its designs but expects that the first SMRs will be operational in 2026, without any government funding.