Can Bill Gates Provide America's Next 800 Years of Electricity?

He's transformed the personal computer, health outcomes in the developing world, and education opportunities in the U.S. For Bill Gates's next act, the Microsoft founder is trying to turn atomic trash into treasure.

With a team of engineers, physicists and nuclear experts at the start-up TerraPower, Bill Gates and fellow billionaire Nathan Myhrvold are trying to develop "a new kind of nuclear reactor that would be fueled by today’s nuclear waste, supply all the electricity in the United States for the next 800 years and, possibly, cut the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation around the world," writes Matthew L. Wald.  

The complicated, and costly, process involves using uranium 238, the "mostly natural waste" produced by today's conventional nuclear reactors, and eliminates "several routes to weapons proliferation".

"The engineers working for Mr. Gates acknowledge the enormous challenges but say they are convinced that he, and they, are chasing the solution not only to energy and weapons proliferation but also to climate change and poverty," Wald adds.


Full Story: Atomic Goal: 800 Years of Power From Waste

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $50.
$369 includes free shipping!