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March 26th, 2010

Toshiba getting active in mini-reactor discussions

Published on March 26th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org
Credit: TerraPower

Credit: TerraPower

Katie at Earth2Tech has the scoop on TerraPower and Toshiba starting to talk about an initiative to develop the former’s traveling wave design of small reactor. After Bill Gates, Toshiba would be the second well-heeled enterprise to jump on the TerraPower bandwagon.

Traveling wave reactors are attractive because they can, at least in theory, milk an initial batch of enriched uranium for dozens, if not hundreds, of years. TerraPower president John Gilleland goes so far as to claim that the company believes its reactor design “can provide nearly an infinite supply of low-cost, carbon-free energy.” He provides more information and a video to illustrate the theory here.

An even longer video of a presentation Gilleland gave at University of California, Berkeley, last April is available here. As Katie notes, one of the remarkable things in this talk is Gilleland’s assertion that “operation of a traveling wave reactor can be demonstrated in less than ten years, and commercial deployment can begin in less than fifteen years.”


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One Response to Toshiba getting active in mini-reactor discussions

  1. nanonano says:

    so this reactor design seems like a great advance in technology with the ability to milk enriched uranium for very long time spans for a lot of energy with no carbon emissions…but what about the radioactive waste? That waste is a huge problem.

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