Founder and former CEO of Microsoft bill gates is no longer engaged in running a software company, but ambitious projects old bill still full. In one of them, called TerraPower bill gates recently signed a cooperation agreement with the largest energy company in the U.S. Southern Company. And all in order to build a “miniature” nuclear reactors.
The word “miniature” in quotes for a reason, as planned, the reactors will still be a decent size, but significantly smaller than their “conventional” counterparts. The TerraPower project experts believe that small reactors “cheaper and more efficient than their larger counterparts”. At the moment the project is at an early stage and scientists consult with experts from the National laboratory of oak ridge, the Idaho National laboratory and Vanderbilt University to assess the commercial side of the project. And support in the face of the Southern Company will provide the necessary finances to begin construction.
At the moment tests scheduled for the year 2019 and their cost is estimated at 20 million dollars. During the first phase of tests will be performed to check the thermal hydraulics codes and safety analysis of the reactor. According to the forecasts of TerraPower, one reactor will generate up to 1,100 megawatts of electricity. The design will be used molten salt of chlorides for cooling and standard components of the nuclear fuel core of the reactor.
When the mixture of salts is in permanent circulation, that may be used to generate heat or electricity. In addition, it is argued that due to the fact that the reactor will operate at higher temperatures than conventional counterparts, it will be more energy efficient and less harmful to the environment.