Nuclear energy giant Terrapower, founded by Bill Gates, is at loggerheads with the British government over concerns about being excluded from a £1bn competition to build new small power stations. Terrapower fears the company will be sidelined in the race to build the next generation of reactors because of questions about the fuel source.
Terrapower, chaired by billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, recently bid to build Britain’s future nuclear infrastructure alongside other companies such as Rolls Royce, GE-Hitachi and Bechtel. However, the company fears that the government is favoring small modular reactors developed by its competitors over its own model with more innovative technology.
The UK government’s focus on small modular reactors has raised concerns at Terrapower, as the company believes their technology offers a more advanced solution. The company’s model is classified as a Generation IV reactor, which offers higher levels of safety, sustainability and efficiency in energy production. The exclusion of Terrapower from competition could hamper the development of this promising technology in the UK.
This discrepancy highlights the debate within the nuclear energy sector about the best design and fuel source for future power plants. While the government’s prioritization of small modular reactors may stem from commercial and feasibility considerations, Terrapower is committed to demonstrating the benefits and potential of its innovative technology.
It remains to be seen how this dispute will be resolved and whether Terrapower will be included in the competition alongside its competitors. The decision will have a significant impact on the future of nuclear energy in the UK and the development of advanced reactor designs.