Thursday, June, 20, 2019 11:34:23

Bill Gates’ nuclear venture with China nixed due to U.S. restrictions

  • The nuclear energy venture is now looking for new partners as new U.S. regulations have forced it to abandon a deal with China.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy had announced new regulations in October that restricted making nuclear deals with China.

TerraPower LLC (TerraPower), a nuclear reactor design company chaired by Bill Gates, is reportedly looking for a new partner for conducting early stage trials of the company’s new technology as new U.S. regulations have forced it to drop a current deal with China.

Reports cite, TerraPower had reached an agreement with China’s state-owned China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) back in 2017 to construct an experimental nuclear reactor near Beijing. TerraPower has now hit a major snag and is unlikely to follow through with its plans due to the new regulations.

According to a report by Business Insider, the Washington-based firm is now doubtful about which nation it would be working along with to carry out trials of its nuclear technology, which has been specifically designed to utilize depleted uranium as a fuel source for the nuclear reactors in an effort to improve safety as well as costs.

The President & CEO of TerraPower LLC, Chris Levesque stated that the company is presently regrouping from the major snag it hit due to the U.S. regulations. Levesque further added that the company would find a new partner soon.

The U.S. Department of Energy imposed the new regulations back in October in line with a border plan devised by the Trump Administration that severely limits China from gaining access to US-made technologies that are of strategic importance to the nation.

According to reports, it is imperative for the company to find some partner nation as current regulations in the United States are very restrictive and would not allow the reactor prototype to be constructed domestically.