The traveling wave reactor (TWR) being designed by TerraPower, IV’s first spin-out company, will offer a path to zero-emission, proliferation-resistant energy that produces significantly smaller amounts of nuclear waste than conventional nuclear reactors. This innovative reactor design can run for decades on depleted uranium – currently a waste byproduct of the enrichment process for conventional reactors.
Enormous amounts of this depleted uranium, useless to today's reactors, already exist in stockpiles around the world. Stocks of this material grow as uranium is enriched for the refueling of conventional reactors. The TWR converts depleted uranium directly to usable fuel as it operates. As a result, this inexpensive but energy-rich fuel source could provide a global electricity supply that is, for all practical purposes, inexhaustible.
For more information about the traveling wave reactor, visit TerraPower’s website.