To create the Traveling Wave Reactor (TWR®) design, TerraPower has put together a team that boasts unparalleled expertise in nuclear engineering, simulation and modeling, finance, and nuclear project management. They have previously developed new technologies, built nuclear power plants, and managed the financing and development of large-scale infrastructure projects. TerraPower has the talent and expertise to create advanced reactor technologies, and to bring them to market.
Traveling Wave Reactor Technology
TerraPower was founded to address the urgent need for scalable clean energy around the world.
The company's flagship advanced nuclear reactor concept, the Traveling Wave Reactor (TWR®) design, represents incredible progress in nuclear technology thanks to the power of advanced computer modeling and our dedicated team of scientists and engineers.
The TWR technology takes leaps forward in cost and safety, while drastically reducing waste and proliferation concerns. Its innovative design will operate with higher thermal efficiency, and consume uranium resources in a more efficient, cleaner, and safer manner than current nuclear technology. And of course, the energy provided by the TWR design will produce zero-carbon emissions.
The Traveling Wave Reactor design also operates at atmospheric pressure, which removes the possibility of a pressure-related destabilizing event. It will be capable of utilizing fuel made from depleted uranium – a waste byproduct of the uranium enrichment process – allowing it to gradually convert the fuel through a nuclear reaction without removing it from the reactor’s core. This eliminates the need for reprocessing while generating heat and electricity over a much longer period of continuous operation. Additionally, eliminating reprocessing reduces proliferation concerns, lowers the overall cost of the nuclear fuel cycle, and helps to protect the environment by making use of a waste byproduct.
To date, TerraPower has achieved significant success in the development of this advanced nuclear reactor design, largely through progress made by leveraging public-private partnerships and forging a new supply chain for fuels and materials. Construction of a TWR concept engineering simulator has also been an important milestone, putting engineers in the control room of a virtual TWR system to prepare for the reactor’s operation from start-up to full power. These achievements have led to the completion of the core concept design for a TWR prototype program.