Gates highlights nuclear’s role in fighting climate change

February 19, 2021, 9:29AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Gates

Bill Gates is making the media rounds to promote his new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need, which was released on Tuesday. Along the way, he’s been touting nuclear energy as part of his master plan for battling climate change.

60 Minutes: Gates kicked off the week with an appearance on 60 Minutes on Sunday. During the nearly 15-minute segment with correspondent Anderson Cooper, Gates discussed TerraPower, the company he founded in 2006 that is dedicated to nuclear innovation. “Nuclear power can be done in a way that none of those failures of the past would recur, because just the physics of how it's built,” Gates said, referring to TerraPower’s Natrium reactor. “I admit, convincing people of that will be almost as hard as actually building it. But since it may be necessary to avoid climate change, we shouldn't give up.”

More media: Among his other book-related appearances, Gates was the subject of a Wall Street Journal Magazine feature story that was published online on Monday. He also did exclusive interviews with Politico and Forbes. In the Politico Q&A, Gates referred to DARPA (Defense Advanced Reactors Projects Agency) and ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy). “We have to step up and do those in a bigger way,” he said. He also suggested giving tax credits for nuclear energy like the government has done for solar and wind.

In the Forbes interview, Gates again touched on TerraPower and said that he hopes to have a demonstration plant built within five to seven years. “If things go well, that means that maybe in 10 years, commercial plant builders would take that design and build it ideally in the hundreds—which is what you need to have an impact on climate change,” he said.


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