Bill Gates, Toshiba in early talks on nuclear reactor AFP

A company backed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Toshiba are in early talks to jointly develop a small nuclear reactor, the Japanese electronics giant said Tuesday.
The Nikkei business daily earlier reported that the two sides would team up to develop a compact next-generation reactor that can operate for up to 100 years without refueling to provide emission-free energy.
The daily said the joint development would focus on the Traveling-Wave Reactor (TWR), which consumes depleted uranium as fuel. Current light-water reactors require refueling every few years.
“Toshiba has entered into preliminary talks with TerraPower,” said Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Ohmori. “We are looking into the possibility of working together.”
Gates is the principal owner of TerraPower, an expert team based in the US state of Washington that is investigating ways to improve emission-free energy supplies using small nuclear reactors.