Chief Technical Officer
John Gilleland is the Chief Technical Officer of TerraPower LLC, a company founded by Bill Gates (Chairman), Nathan Myhrvold (Vice Chairman) and Dr. Gilleland in 2008 to focus on achievement of improved nuclear safety, proliferation resistance, energy security and economic power for all countries.
From 2008 to 2015, Dr. Gilleland served as TerraPower’s chief executive officer (CEO). Under his leadership, TerraPower transitioned from an idea to a globally recognized center for innovation and development of new nuclear reactors and other advanced nuclear systems. Dr. Gilleland now serves as the company’s technology evangelist, focusing on the long-term product vision and feasibility of TerraPower’s best-known product, the traveling wave reactor.
Previously, Dr. Gilleland founded and served as the CEO of Archimedes Technology Group, a company which created and successfully tested new technologies that can speed weapons waste cleanup and opens new non-chemical approaches to commercial spent fuel reprocessing.
As chief scientist and vice president of energy programs at Bechtel Corporation, he had responsibility for a large number of advanced energy production and energy distribution system projects. In addition to nuclear programs, he had responsibility for a number of renewable energy projects that included very large central receiver and photo-voltaic solar projects, large commercial geothermal plants, commercial and demonstration biomass, wind, advanced diesel-solar hybrid arrays, and several other exploratory systems. Energy storage projects included superconducting, battery, hydro-pumped, inertial and compressed air based systems. Distributed energy projects included commercial scale fuel cell installations, microturbines, and small commercial and home-use solar arrays.
Prior to his Bechtel experiences, he served as the U.S. managing director of the International Tokamak Experimental Reactor (ITER) program during its conceptual design phase, and senior vice president of General Atomics for fusion development.
Dr. Gilleland holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from Yale University and a doctorate in physics from the University of Michigan.
- A Once-Through Fuel Cycle for Fast Reactors
- Extending the Nuclear Fuel Cycle with Traveling Wave Reactors
- Traveling Wave Reactors: A Truly Sustainable and Full-Scale Resource for Global Energy Needs
- Conceptual Design of a 500 MWe Traveling Wave Demonstration Reactor Plant
- Traveling Wave Reactor Development Program Overview
Bold Action, Focused Effort Can Solve the UnsolvableSeptember 03, 2016
Using TerraPower as an example, columnist Dr. Scott Morris reflects on what it takes to solve difficult problems. In his opinion, the company’s success is the result of hard work and mission-driven innovation, principles that could be applied to push any effort forward.
Author: Dr. Scott MorrisVisit Website »
Source: The Commercial Appeal
Nuclear Innovators Say Public-Private Collaboration VitalMay 19, 2016
TerraPower’s John Gilleland appeared before Congress in May, testifying about the benefits public-private collaboration affords companies. TerraPower, like many advanced nuclear companies, works closely with the U.S. Department of Energy.
Source: Nuclear Energy InstituteVisit Website »
Nuclear Costs Will Come Down, Executives Tell SenatorsMay 17, 2016
TerraPower Chief Technical Officer John Gilleland testified before the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, saying that one of the primary goals of new nuclear technologies is to lower upkeep costs and thus lower the cost of electricity generation.
Author: James OsborneVisit Website »
Source: San Antonio Express-News
Nuclear Firms: More Federal Money for Advanced ReactorsMay 17, 2016
Bloomberg BNA reporter Rebecca Kern summarizes a Congressional hearing on advanced nuclear technology development. As part of the hearing, TerraPower’s John Gilleland advocated to support the Nuclear Regulatory Commission with both funding and know-how to help license new nuclear technologies.
Author: Rebecca KernVisit Website »
Source: Bloomberg BNA
New Paradigms for the Nuclear Energy SectorApril 27, 2016
Reporter Dan Yurman examines the state of advanced nuclear technology development around the world. TerraPower’s John Gilleland shares how TerraPower achieves milestones by leveraging partnerships with government entities, universities and private companies.
Author: Dan YurmanVisit Website »
Source: Neutron Bytes / World Energy Council's World Energy Focus
8 Tech Breakthroughs of 2015 That Could Help Power the WorldDecember 29, 2015
National Geographic’s Wendy Koch cites TerraPower as a major player in the advanced nuclear reactor field. TerraPower’s progress on the TWR is a milestone in the future of advanced reactors.
Author: Wendy KochVisit Website »
Source: National Geographic
TerraPower Quietly Explores New Nuclear Reactor StrategyOctober 21, 2015
MIT Technology Review’s Richard Martin examines TerraPower’s research into a molten chloride reactor concept, even as the company remains fully committed to the traveling wave reactor design.
Author: Richard MartinVisit Website »
Source: MIT Technology Review
The Company Determined to Fix Nuclear EnergyOctober 13, 2015
Produced by The Atlantic to accompany a profile of TerraPower investor Bill Gates, this five-minute documentary showcases TerraPower’s efforts to create a technology that meets global energy demands and combats climate change.
Source: The AtlanticVisit Website »
Bill Gates Making Progress On Next Generation Of Nuclear Power—In ChinaOctober 02, 2015
Industry analyst James Conca reacts to TerraPower’s memorandum of understanding with China, noting the need for increased investment, innovation and international cooperation on energy issues.
Author: James ConcaVisit Website »
Why New U.S.-China Climate Steps Matter: Three Things to KnowSeptember 25, 2015
National Geographic’s Wendy Koch examines new U.S.-China actions to curb carbon dioxide emissions, mentioning TerraPower’s work on the traveling wave reactor as an example of how the two countries are working to fight climate change.
Author: Wendy KochVisit Website »
Source: National Geographic
A Nuclear Newcomer: TerraPower and the Traveling Wave ReactorDecember 15, 2014
TerraPower CEO John Gilleland writes about TerraPower’s current work, highlighting the company’s supply chain development, materials and fuels progress, and reactor design work.
Author: John GillelandVisit Website »
Source: Nuclear News (Subscription Only)
Nuclear Video Matinee: NuScale and TerraPower at CERAWeekApril 11, 2014
ANS Nuclear Café highlights a video featuring TerraPower CEO John Gilleland, produced by ICOSA Media.
Author: American Nuclear SocietyVisit Website »
Source: ANS Nuclear Café
CERAWeek 2014 – The Future of Global Nuclear PowerMarch 07, 2014
IHS reviews CERAWeek 2014’s panel on the future of nuclear energy, highlighting the presence of TerraPower CEO John Gilleland at the conference.
Source: IHS Unconventional Energy BlogVisit Website »
Big Names Usher TerraPower Forward…But How Far?March 03, 2014
According to noted energy analyst Chris Gadomski, with almost 100 reactors under construction in countries around the globe, TerraPower’s novel traveling wave technology takes the existing nuclear generation market in a new direction.
Author: Chris GadomskiVisit Website »
Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance (subscription required)
Atomic Goal: 800 Years of Power From WasteSeptember 24, 2013
Matt Wald’s positive profile of TerraPower’s technology focuses on the potential for TerraPower’s TWR to provide an option for safer, cleaner, cheaper nuclear energy for the world.
Author: Matthew WaldVisit Website »
Source: The New York Times