TerraPower, which counts Bill Gates as an investor, raises $35 million in venture funding to pursue an alternative nuclear-power technology.
Martin LaMonicaFormer Staff writer, CNET News
Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.
TerraPower, a company seeking to commercialize a novel nuclear-power technology which has the enthusiastic backing of Bill Gates, has raised $35 million in venture funding.
Seattle-based TerraPowersaid on Monday that Charles River Ventures led the series B round, which also had money from Khosla Ventures.
TerraPower was spun out of Intellectual Ventures, the intellectual-property licensing company headed by Nathan Myryvold, to commercialize traveling-wave nuclear reactors.
The basic idea behind traveling-wave reactors is to use a small amount of enriched uranium and spent uranium fuel from traditional nuclear-power plants to produce electricity. Rather than needing to refuel every several years, these reactors would be able to operate for decades without refueling.
Although the idea of this alternative nuclear-power technology has been around for decades, it has never been done commercially and faces a number of technical, financial, and regulatory barriers.
The CEO of TerraPower, John Gilleland, was approached by Intellectual Ventures to see if a start-up could bring a nuclear-energy technology to market rapidly, Gilleland told Xconomy in March.