• January 15, 2019

    By: Chris Levesque - President and CEO

    When our founders created TerraPower, they knew that our challenge wasn’t simple. They were individual futurists who saw the absolute necessity for advanced nuclear fission as a major element of the world’s energy system by the middle of this century. The last several months have been dynamic, but we stand here, more than ten years into our journey, undeterred and focused on our mission.

    We have now built a team of futurists who share our founders’ vision and we have grown partnerships with world leaders in nuclear energy. We’ve optimized our reactor designs and rapidly proven out new ideas with advanced computer modeling and experiments in the laboratory. Our nuclear industry has a mature culture of excellence in safety and execution. At TerraPower, we are building on this culture and demonstrating that advanced nuclear technologies are ready today.

    On October 11 last year, we received news that the U.S. government changed civil export control rules. This news had unfortunate consequences for our plans for a TWR demonstration reactor in China. Bill Gates discussed this in his end of year blog here.

    These changes affect our team who is now dealing with a necessary reduction of about 15% of our staff. We are re-evaluating our deployment plans but rest assured that progress on the TWR continues.

    I continue to be a complete believer in the future of nuclear energy as a solution to the world’s most pressing challenges. In 2019, TerraPower has several exciting new developments:

    2019 will be an important year for us and for the industry. We are pleased to see multiple advanced reactor companies moving forward while Congress evaluates new energy policies. A rising tide raises all ships. We can’t change the world’s energy system alone. We will need a vibrant supply chain, and a national lab and university backbone in the US, and strong foundations in other countries where we choose to develop. Success will be shared with persistent and ongoing efforts. Society can improve as companies and governments work together to integrate many new nuclear technologies and deliver carbon-free energy to people everywhere.