By: Lee McIntire
Yesterday in Seattle, we were honored to have an impressive crowd gathered at the Grand Hyatt Hotel to witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between TerraPower and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). The audience brought together clean energy leaders such as China’s Ministry of Commerce Vice Minister Zhang Xiangchen, as well as Washington’s Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen, CNNC’s President Qian Zhimin and Bill Gates. Their presence was a recognition of the incredible support and encouragement for TerraPower’s efforts to innovate.
On behalf of TerraPower, I signed this MOU with great enthusiasm. I know the dedication of TerraPower’s team and what it took to lay the groundwork for this MOU. This event marks a significant milestone.
This MOU was made possible under policies and agreements for cooperation by the governments of United States and China. For the past seven years, TerraPower’s talented professionals have worked very closely with government representatives to facilitate technology and policy discussions. Efforts among the staff at the U.S. Department of State, Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Nuclear Regulatory Commission as well as their counterparts from the Chinese Government fostered mechanisms for collaboration.
TerraPower’s has been a long effort to coordinate the many contributors who recognize the urgent need to facilitate energy innovation. Challenges still lie ahead, but this recent development increases our prospects for success. The TerraPower-CNNC collaboration on advanced nuclear technology aims to benefit to the world by pioneering new options in civilian nuclear energy that address safety, environmental and cost concerns. Additional work must be done to define what a possible joint venture may look like, but this MOU signals that we are well on track. We are excited to work on the next steps of this venture to promote clean energy growth, and enable principled global economic growth in both the United States and China.