The traveling wave reactor concept championed by TerraPower, in which Bill Gates, of Microsoft fame, is a key investor, is “likely to be a commercial failure,” according to a report by the nonprofit advocacy group the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research.
The traveling wave reactor (TWR), first conceived in 1958, has been intensively investigated only since about 2006. It is a sodium-cooled “fast” reactor design in which neutrons are not slowed down and the heat created by fission is carried away by liquid sodium, which is used to boil water. In turn, the steam is used to drive a turbine-generator set to generate electricity. To date, no TWR has ever been built, according to Traveling Wave Reactor: Sodium-cooled Gold at the End of a Nuclear Rainbow?
Read more at Energy Manager Today.