U.S. Photonics awarded nuclear component development contract by TerraPower

Oct. 17, 2013
Springfield, MO--U.S. Photonics, a custom developer of femtosecond lasers, motion control systems, and new materials, entered into a contract with TerraPowe to develop a new method for manufacturing novel nuclear components.

Springfield, MO--U.S. Photonics, a custom developer of femtosecond lasers, motion control systems, and new materials, entered into a contract with TerraPower (Bellevue, WA) to develop a new method for manufacturing nuclear components. The project supports TerraPower’s planned traveling wave reactor, which is designed to run on depleted uranium, a waste byproduct that exists in large stockpiles around the world.

TerraPower has performed detailed physics and engineering studies using computational tools and is currently moving forward with plant design, component level development, and irradiation testing. The initial launch of the traveling wave reactor is scheduled for 2023. The company was founded in 2008 from an effort initiated by Intellectual Ventures, founded by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold; Bill Gates serves at chairman of TerraPower.

Jacob Conner, President of U.S. Photonics, said, “Our team is currently working on innovative fabrication techniques for core components supporting TerraPower’s TWR design. Together, we are establishing American expertise in the field of new materials development. Our work is a critical piece in TerraPower’s effort to form a U.S.-based fast reactor supply chain."

Ryan Zweerink, Executive Vice President of U.S. Photonics, said that the company could not disclose any additional information about the technology they are developing.

SOURCE: U.S. Photonics

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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