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