Bill gates confirmed Wednesday he is in discussion with China about developing a nuclear reactor.
The Microsoft co-founder ensured the prospect of the nuclear reactor would be geared more towards safe, environmentally friendly purposes.
"The idea is to be very low cost, very safe and generate very little waste," Gates said at the China's Ministry of Science and Technology conference.
It isn’t the first time Gates has been involved with the development of nuclear reactors.
The billionaire has said he largely funded TerraPower, a Washington-based company that is also developing a nuclear reactor.
The TerraPower reactor is known as the Generation IV, which can allegedly run on depleted uranium, according to AP.
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Depleted uranium is waste that’s obtained from producing fuel for nuclear reactors and atomic bombs.
TerraPower says its reactor would run for decades on depleted uranium and produce substantially less nuclear waste than conventional reactors, according to AP.
Since Gates retired from Microsoft he has focused more of his time and attention to philanthropic endeavors with particular attention to education, health, and clean energy prospects.
His role with TerraPower is beyond that of financial contribution, however, he is also the strategic advisor.
TerraPower has been working closely with the state owned China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) over the innovative new reactor.
Although Gates mentioned talks were at an early stage he spoke optimistically about them.
“TerraPower is having very good discussions with CNNC and various people in the Chinese government,” Gates said to reporters.
Scholars maintain that China’s significant economic growth creates the right ground for the kind of technological innovation that attracts research and development facilities of large multi-national firms.
Sure enough, the Microsoft co-founder’s attention to the Chinese prospect is anything but micro.
Gates said there may be as much as a billion dollars to be put into research and development over the next five years with the prospective reactor.
Such expansive research and development going towards cleaner, safer, and more efficient energy use may prove to be a turning page from a long chapter of nuclear devastation.
In the past century, there have been four large-scale nuclear meltdowns that have claimed the lives of millions around the world.
"All these new designs are going to be incredibly safe," Gates told the audience. "They require no human action to remain safe at all times."