The world energy crisis was an early focus for the inventors at Intellectual Ventures. After exploring the challenge in our multidisciplinary invention sessions, IV turned its attention to nuclear energy. Unlike most alternative energy solutions, nuclear offers the potential for carbon-free baseload energy.
IV’s initial efforts developed into TerraPower, which became its own company in 2008. TerraPower is working to develop a traveling wave nuclear reactor (TWR) that avoids the limitations of current nuclear plants. TerraPower’s design:
- Uses the 90% of uranium now considered useless as its main fuel
- Eliminates the need for reprocessing facilities and eventually, enrichment plants
- Relies on basic physics and redundant safety systems for improved security
- Lasts for decades without need for refueling
With support from a roster of investors that includes Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates and Charles River Ventures, TerraPower is refining its TWR design and expects to build a test reactor within the next decade. The company is also producing valuable research on fast reactors and pioneering materials development for advanced nuclear energy systems.
For more information and the latest news about TerraPower, please visit TerraPower.com.