The Design

Addressing Nuclear Energy’s Challenges

TerraPower’s traveling wave reactor (TWR) is a Generation IV, liquid sodium-cooled fast reactor based on existing fast reactor technologies. Innovations in metallic fuel, cladding materials and engineering allow TWRs to utilize depleted uranium as their primary fuel. These innovations greatly simplify the nuclear fuel cycle by eliminating or reducing the need for enrichment, reprocessing, and waste storage and disposal. Fissile fuel is both produced and then consumed in-reactor, greatly improving the fuel efficiency of the TWR and resource availability for the reactor.

The Containment Dome houses the non-radioactive parts of the reactor and protects the public in the event of an accident. The entire reactor here pictured is further contained within the reactor plant, which provides additional layers of safety and security.

Control and Safety Rods are suspended above the reactor core. Control rods can be mechanically inserted into the core, adjusting the rate of the fission reaction. Gravity-activated safety rods can be dropped into the core in case of an emergency, quickly stopping the reaction altogether.

The Primary Sodium Pool surrounds the reactor core. The TWR leverages the natural laws of physics and the inherent advantages of sodium coolant to improve thermal performance and maintain a higher level of safety.

TerraPower’s unique approach to decay heat removal, the Direct Reactor Auxiliary Cooling System (DRACS), removes heat if the normal path is unavailable.