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Nuclear Power News 2023

landscape photography of cooling tower
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


This page provides nuclear power news highlights for 2023. For additional context and background, read the “Fusion Energy News 2022” report. [Read]

Background 2010-2022

In a TED Talk presentation from 2010, Bill Gates described the TerraPower concept of nuclear energy production at lower cost with reduced risk and less waste. [Source] That presentation is below. The important three minute segment is queued at 13m 19s. In the presentation, Bill Gates describes a technology that will use existing nuclear waste to provide unlimited energy for the forceable life of the planet.

Natrium Power 2023

The concepts presented in 2010 by Bill Gates above are reaching fruition. A demonstration site for a Natrium power facility is planned for Kemmerer, Wyoming. The video below from July 2023 provides a report on the current status of the planned Natrium facility. [Source]


Here are some resource links for topics mentioned in the videos above.

  • Natrium — The Latin word for sodium is natrium. Thus, liquid sodium-cooled reactors are called Natrium reactors. While this is a generic word, it has been trademarked by TerraPower as an energy sector term. [Website | Wikipedia]
  • Sodium-cooled fast reactors — An innovative reactor design that can be smaller with lower cost and safer operation. Also known as Natrium reactors. [Website | Wikipedia]
  • TerraPower — An American nuclear reactor design and development engineering company developing a class of nuclear fast reactors termed traveling wave reactors. [Website | Wikipedia]
  • Traveling wave reactor — A reactor that can create its own fuel. [Wikipedia]


The TerraPower company functions with a consortium of businesses, education institutions, and government agencies working on developing liquid-sodium traveling wave reactors for small, low-cost, safe energy. In 2019, the TerraPower laboratory space expanded to 65,000 square feet. In 2021, TerraPower identified the Wyoming location for their demonstration Natrium reactor.

  • Education — Inquisitive minds foster innovation, so TerraPower engages the academic research community to apply the benefits of their forward thinking. Our university collaborations support the development of the next generation of nuclear engineers and physicists, and put to use the valuable research facilities available at America’s world-class universities. To date, these academic partnerships have included the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; North Carolina State University; Oregon State University; Pennsylvania State University; Texas A&M University; University of Michigan; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of Wisconsin; and Washington State University. [Source]
  • Government — TerraPower has agreements in place with many U.S. national laboratories, allowing partnerships between these federal research institutions, private-sector companies and universities. TerraPower’s work, including R&D and testing, has benefitted from collaborations with researchers from Idaho National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex. [Source]


In the video below, Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy describes his proposal to completely eliminate the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. [Source: Ramaswamy via YouTube, 5 Aug 2023]

Anyone hoping to increase returns on investments and maximize profits will likely welcome the possibility of limited or non-existent regulation.

The public-facing stated philosophy of deregulation is that corporations will self-regulate and put people over profits. The internal industry discussion is likely focused on the ability to cut corners and take risks which will optimize profits.

By going on record as promising to eliminate the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Ramaswamy has saved immeasurable time and money that would be otherwise be required to have hundreds of meetings and lunches with the well-funded business leaders and lobbyists in the energy sector. Now he doesn’t need not have any formal meetings, partnerships, or public sponsors. One statement gains their support. No other candidate is promising this favor to the multi-billion dollar emerging Gen 4 nuclear industry.

In unrelated news, Ramaswamy has recently risen to the number 2 or 3 spot in the GOP presidential primary for the 2024 election cycle. He has also vowed to eliminate the Department of Education, the FBI, and other agencies. Because Ramaswamy has chosen to be so visible in the nuclear energy space, he is included on this page for reference. Learn more on his YouTube Channel, or Website.


Nuclear power has the potential to be very safe. However, as we’ve seen in other industries, some business leaders want to cut corners to maximize profits. This results in dangerous consumer products from cars to children’s toys.

Because of the repeatedly demonstrated tendency to put profits over people and the planet, sensible oversight and regulation will be needed for the industry to be as safe as possible. Even with regulation, there can be non compliance, but at least safety outcomes and accountability can be slightly improved.

For reference, the video below offers one example of many illustrating how companies will repeatedly violate laws despite being told to stop. A transcript excerpt from the introduction is below the video.

“HSBC admitted to money laundering,… $881 million that we know of, for Mexican and Columbian drug cartels, and also admitted to violating our sanctions for Iran, Libya, Cuba, Burma, the Sudan… They didn’t do it just one time, it wasn’t like a mistake. They did it over and over and over again across a period of years, and they were caught doing it, warned not to do it, and kept right on doing it, evidently making profits doing it. … HSBC paid a fine, but no one individual went to trial, no individual was banned from banking, and there was no hearing to consider shutting down HSBC’s activities here in the United States.” [Source: Senate Hearing via YouTube, 7 Mar 2023]

There are thousands of examples like the one above, from every industry and sector of business. While there are many praiseworthy outcomes of capitalism, such as rewards for innovation and hard work, it’s a fact that unethical practices are also, at times, rewarded. This internal feedback loop results in pockets of un-checked hyper-corruption.

Unless the Amish and devout Friars are hired to run nuclear energy facilities, profit-driven individuals and groups will do everything they can to reduce costs and maximize revenue. It will be like any other industry. One can’t consider the safety of nuclear power in ideal laboratory conditions. One needs to consider the safety of nuclear power in a society where some people are greedy, careless, sloppy, and selfish. There will be somewhat higher chances of risk.


CBC News (12 Aug 2023)

“How Finland is betting on nuclear power, and its waste” — The world’s first nuclear waste repository is being built off Finland’s west coast on the island of Olkiluoto. Highly radioactive waste will soon be buried deep underground there. [Source]

CBC News (7 Aug 2023)

“U.S. scientists achieve nuclear fusion net energy gain for 2nd time” — Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California say they have achieved net energy gain in a nuclear fusion reaction for the second time since December. Experts say this could help pave the way to a future with near-limitless clean energy. [Source]

Matt Ferrell (13 Jun 2023)

“How We’re Going To Achieve Nuclear Fusion” — How We’re Solving Nuclear Fusion’s Toughest Challenges. Get an exclusive Surfshark deal! Enter promo code UNDECIDED for an extra 3 months free at https://surfshark.deals/undecided. Getting to see the JET tokamak fusion reactor in person was an eye-opening experience, but not in the way you might expect. What I got to see during my time at the Culham Science Center in the UK went well beyond what JET fusion reactor is doing. There’s a whole ecosystem that’s needed to support a future fusion industry, and the UK government is really pushing every aspect of that. There’s a lot of buzz around fusion startups, but for any of this to work, it’s going to take a holistic view to address the many challenges around it. So what’s that going to take? And … what’s it like to stand inside a tokamak? [Source]

Casper Star-Tribune (2 Jun 2021)

“Bill Gates talks about new Wyoming nuclear power project” — Bill Gatest discusses the new Natrium nuclear power project announced in Wyoming. The Natrium Reactor project is a partnership with Bill Gates-founded company TerraPower, Rocky Mountain Power and the U.S. Department of Energy. Video via Wyoming PBS. [Source]

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com