TerraPower – A nuclear innovation company

Striving to improve the world through nuclear energy and science
Cover gas clean up system

TerraPower’s innovators create technologies to provide safe, affordable and abundant carbon-free energy. They devise ways to use heat to drive economic growth while decarbonizing industry. And they develop processes to extract radioisotopes for medical use in lifesaving cancer treatments.

Our team combines unparalleled technical and engineering expertise, experience in delivering nuclear projects, and building organizations to tackle large-scale global challenges.

TerraPower was founded by Bill Gates and a group of like-minded visionaries that decided the private sector needed to take action in developing advanced nuclear energy to meet growing electricity needs, mitigate climate change and lift billions out of poverty. Advanced reactors and other isotopic applications are now possible with technology and enhanced computing capabilities that were unimaginable a few decades ago. At TerraPower, we are innovating in nuclear to improve the lives of people everywhere and to build the clean energy of tomorrow – today.

TerraPower’s work has benefitted from collaborations with companies that bring specialized expertise and spur growth in new industries in the process. Our domestic business relationships have included AECOM, AREVA, Becht Engineering, Bechtel Power Corporation, Brayton Energy, BWXT Nuclear Energy, Inc., The Cameron Group, Columbia Basin Consulting Group, LLC, Creative Engineers, Inc., Cryogenic Consulting Service, Curtiss-Wright Corporation, Merrick & Company, Mid-Columbia Engineering, MPR Associates, SPX Flow, Southern Company, Technology Resources, Veridiam, WECTEC and Zachry Nuclear Engineering.

TerraPower has agreements in place with many U.S. national laboratories, allowing partnerships between these federal research institutions, private-sector companies and universities. TerraPower’s work, including R&D and testing, has benefitted from collaborations with researchers from Idaho National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex.

Inquisitive minds foster innovation, so TerraPower engages the academic research community to apply the benefits of their forward thinking. Our university collaborations support the development of the next generation of nuclear engineers and physicists, and put to use the valuable research facilities available at America’s world-class universities. To date, these academic partnerships have included the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; North Carolina State University; Oregon State University; Pennsylvania State University; Texas A&M University; University of Michigan; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of Wisconsin; and Washington State University.

TerraPower also works with a variety of international organizations that offer specialized experience and testing facilities related to our nuclear research and development programs. By fostering international cooperation in advanced nuclear energy, TerraPower is helping keep the United States at the forefront of technology development.

TIMELINE

2006

Bill Gates and like-minded visionaries determine the private sector must act to develop clean energy resources to halt climate change and to raise global living standards.

Nuclear power is identified as an essential element of energy infrastructure.

2007

Work on Traveling Wave Reactor (TWR®) physics and engineering concepts begins.

Great potential benefits of the TWR® concept are identified.

2008

TerraPower is officially launched as a nuclear innovation company.

TerraPower logo

Engineering design of TWR concept begins.

2009


Initial computing cluster is commissioned.

2010

Collaboration begins with multiple national laboratories.

2011

Detail is added to reactor and fuel design for the TWR concept.

Materials development program is established.

2012

TerraPower laboratory is established.

Test reactor irradiation programs and ion irradiation programs are established.

TerraPower identifies molten salt reactors as a research technology.

Collaboration with universities, national laboratories and companies expands to start a global fuel, materials and component development program.

2014

Significant advances in materials with fuels and materials experiments underway.

HT9samples

2015

TerraPower signs a memorandum of understanding for cooperation with China National Nuclear Corporation for TWR program development.

TerraPower expands laboratory to a 10,000-square-foot research and development facility focused on diverse advanced nuclear energy technologies.

2016

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awards TerraPower $40 million for the research, design and testing of the molten chloride fast reactor (MCFR) project.

2017

TerraPower reaches a cooperation agreement with China National Nuclear Corporation to form a joint venture to co-develop TWR technology.

2018

isotopes logos

TerraPower enters into an agreement to work on medical isotopes for Targeted Alpha Therapies.

A domestic policy change in the United States prevents American suppliers from exporting non-light water, advanced reactor technology to China.

2019

TerraPower supports congressional efforts to build a Versatile Test Reactor in the United States. The reactor will be used to research and test key materials for sodium fast reactor technologies.

TerraPower’s MCFR program research team hits 1,000 hours of continuous operation on their molten salt loop—a key milestone on the road to a reactor prototype.

DOE announces a $1 million award for a TerraPower and Ramaco Carbon project to create high-value products from coal.

TerraPower expands its laboratory space in Everett, Washington, to 65,000 sq. ft.

2020

A Bechtel-led team, which includes TerraPower, is selected to enter negotiations to design, engineer and build the U.S. Versatile Test Reactor.

Versatile Test Reactor

The DOE awards TerraPower $80 million to demonstrate the Natrium™ reactor and integrated energy system with its technology co-developer GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and engineering and construction partner Bechtel.

Natrium Technology Cutaway

TerraPower signs on to the Equal by 30 campaign, committing to “equal pay, equal leadership and equal opportunities” for women in clean energy by 2030.

Equal by 30

2021

TerraPower and PacifiCorp announce efforts to advance the Natrium™ reactor demonstration project at a retiring coal plant in Wyoming.

Natrium Plant from Above

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