The personal nuclear plant
Katie Fehrenbacher at earth2tech (http://earth2tech.com/author/katiefehren/), Ron Schenone at Lockergnome and Ariel Schwartz at Fastcompany (http://www.fastcompany.com/user/153941 ) report that “[...] TerraPower, the nuclear power startup backed by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, has brought on another couple of high-profile investors for its second round of funding. According to the company this afternoon, TerraPower has raised another $35 million from Khosla Ventures — Vinod Khosla’s venture fund — and Charles River Ventures, in addition to being supported by Gates and the investors at Intellectual Ventures, which was founded by former Microsoft chief technology officer, Nathan Myhrvold [...]” (full article at http://earth2tech.com/2010/06/14/bill-gates-backed-nuclear-startup-terrapower-piles-on-investors, at http://www.fastcompany.com/1660316/bill-gates-backed-nuclear-power-startup-gets-35-million and at http://www.lockergnome.com/blade/2010/06/16/bill-gates-wants-power-nuclear-power-for-green-energy/).
I think that, despite everyone fearing the “nuclear option”, this could be part of our future: A source of power non impacting at environmental level (at least in a reasonable amount of time).
On the other side, I don’t understand if this will create a problem of waste or at least of maintenance, but if benefits are obvious in the quite immediate timeframe, on the problems side we are moving the problem to future generations and this is nor fair nor smart.
Another possible problem could arise from those having access to this technology and, more in general to nuclear activities. This could be overrun by limiting the market by regulating it very strictly.
Overall I’m positive on this solution, while I think a set of measures should be put in place to ensure a sustainable and safe approach is guaranted.
This post as a comment also at http://earth2tech.com/2010/06/14/bill-gates-backed-nuclear-startup-terrapower-piles-on-investors/?go_commented=1 and at http://www.lockergnome.com/blade/2010/06/16/bill-gates-wants-power-nuclear-power-for-green-energy/comment-page-1/#comment-217159 and at http://www.fastcompany.com/1660316/bill-gates-backed-nuclear-power-startup-gets-35-million?partner=rss#disqus_thread