CASPER, Wyo. — TerraPower, the Bill Gates–founded company working toward building a new nuclear reactor in Kemmerer, Wyoming, said in a press release Monday that it has been awarded an $8.5 million grant from the U.S Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).
The grant funding is part of ARPA-E’s Optimizing Nuclear Waste and Advanced Reactor Disposal Systems (ONWARDS) program that aims to increase the use of nuclear power as a source of clean energy while limiting the amount of nuclear waste created by advanced reactors.
TerraPower will use the grant funding to support research into a method to recover uranium from used nuclear fuel “with integrated safeguards that harness the volatility of chloride salts at high temperatures.”
TerraPower and GE technology is going into the new Natrium nuclear reactor, which is expected to be built in Wyoming as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advance Reactor Demonstration program.
“TerraPower is further demonstrating, through the Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment (MCRE), a uranium chloride salt–fueled concept with the DOE, Southern Company and other partners, and advancing medical research and innovation through its TerraPower Isotopes® subsidiary,” the press release states.
TerraPower President and CEO Chris Levesque added in the press release that “TerraPower continues to advance nuclear energy’s promise for our country and the world. As a nuclear innovation company, we are actively exploring new solutions across the fuel cycle, including the best way to address used fuel. This aligns with our mission to develop groundbreaking technologies for some of the most pressing challenges of this generation.”