Bill Gates shifts nuclear sights from China to U.S.

TerraPower lab
TerraPower, a venture co-founded by Bill Gates, conducts nuclear energy research at a 10,000-square-foot laboratory in Bellevue, Wash. (TerraPower Photo)

In his year-end letter, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says his to-do list for 2019 includes persuading U.S. leaders to regain America’s leading role in nuclear energy research and embrace advanced nuclear technologies such as the concept being advanced by his own TerraPower venture.

“The world needs to be working on lots of solutions to stop climate change,” Gates wrote in the wide-ranging letter, released tonight. “Advanced nuclear is one, and I hope to persuade U.S. leaders to get into the game.”

Gates acknowledged that tighter U.S. export restrictions, put in place by the Trump administration, have virtually ruled out TerraPower’s grand plan to test its traveling-wave nuclear technology in China.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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