Developing innovative nuclear reactor technologies is a challenging, lengthy process. And rightly so – designing a safe, economic and sustainable nuclear energy system requires agile thinking, specialized skills, and incredible detail and forethought. For these reasons, the traditional development timeline for nuclear reactor technologies spans decades. However, developing safe, new energy technologies as quickly as possible is paramount if we want to have any impact on climate change. As a result, TerraPower has developed ways to essentially “jump-start” the development timeline and bring improvements to the nuclear technology industry faster.
The key, we’ve found, is to reshape the way American companies collaborate with one another. Creating innovative solutions requires specialized expertise from many different industries. We want to link relevant knowledge that would otherwise remain siloed. Not only does collaboration foster creative solutions, but it also forges a new supply chain that nurtures domestic expertise.
A perfect example: our recent memorandum of understanding with Babcock & Wilcox (B&W). As our technology design progresses beyond the conceptual, we must prepare to commercialize the reactor globally. Partners like B&W provide invaluable support with their ability to draw on decades of working knowledge and assist with engineering, manufacturing and services.
Such a partnership makes it possible for TerraPower to tap the nuclear industry’s excellence. We value the opportunity to keep American companies active in the international supply chain for advanced nuclear energy technologies.