During a talk at China’s ministry of science & technology on Wednesday, the billionaire said: “The idea is to be very low cost, very safe and generate very little waste.”
He said they also benefit from an ability to simulate earthquake and tidal wave conditions. “It takes safety to a new level,” he said.
Gates backs Washington-based TerraPower, which is developing a nuclear reactor that can run on depleted uranium.
He says TerraPower is having “very good discussions” with state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation.
Gates says perhaps as much as a billion dollars will be put into research and development over the next five years.
“China has a lot to contribute because it’s solved many of the problems of poverty, not all of them but a lot of them, itself, and many Asian, south Asian and African countries are well behind, whether it’s agriculture or health,” added Gates.
The general manager of state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation, Sun Qin, was quoted in Chinese media last week saying Gates was working with it to research and develop a reactor.
“TerraPower is having very good discussions with CNNC and various people in the Chinese government,” said Gates, cautioning that they were at an early stage.