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.”