- Microsoft Corp MSFT co-founder Bill Gates-backed TerraPower LLC raised $750 million to develop small-scale nuclear reactors, including a significant investment from South Korean conglomerate SK Group, Bloomberg reports.
- SK will invest $250 million to add a stake in the technology developer, which aims to monetize smaller and cheaper designs than conventional nuclear plants.
- "Nuclear will become a vital part of our energy transition," SK Group subsidiary SK Inc EVP Kim Moohwan said in an interview. "In terms of safety, economic viability, and applicability of the technology, TerraPower's smaller reactors stand out the most to us."
- TerraPower will use the funding proceeds to continue the development of advanced nuclear technology and use nuclear isotopes to develop new cancer drugs.
- Growing demand for nuclear power to tackle climate change and to cut the costs of existing plants have contributed to the popularity of small modular reactors (SMRs).
- TerraPower's planned reactors will likely be manufactured in factories and delivered to approved sites, cutting costs and avoiding potential construction delays.
- TerraPower developed a first test plant at a shuttered coal site in Wyoming and is likely to go into service in 2028.
- Doosan Enerbility Co, Ltd agreed to begin production of forging materials for NuScale Power LLC's SMRs as early as 2022, with full-scale equipment manufacturing by the latter half of 2023.
- Photo via Wikimedia Commons
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