Skip to Content

China Isn’t Building a Traveling Wave Nuclear Plant (Yet)

Rumors of a partnership between TerraPower and China aren’t true.
December 7, 2011

The word is that TerraPower, a company backed by Bill Gates that’s developing a new kind of nuclear power plant, is going to develop the reactor in cooperation with the Chinese government. But that word is wrong.

News of the partnership has been spreading around the web, but the company says that it is just having discussions with China. It’s also talking to other countries, as well as with two research centers in India.

“We are sharing information on the [traveling wave reactor] with a variety of research, supply and manufacturing organizations, but there are no deals to speak to at this time,” John Gilleland, TerraPower’s C.E.O. said in a statement today.

According to The Guardian Bill Gates says “TerraPower is having very good discussions” with the China National Nuclear Corporation, but that those discussions are at an early stage. The company has been in these sorts of discussions for a couple of years now.

TerraPower’s technology is also at an early stage. TerraPower is developing a nuclear reactor that can run for decades on abundant fuel. (See our story Advanced Reactor Gets Closer to Reality for more details). It’s just a detailed design so far; and if it’s going to be able to run for decades, researchers will need to design new, radiation resistant materials for it.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?

Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate

Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway

Weirdly, any recent work on The Line doesn’t show up on Google Maps. But we got the images anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.