Reliance Industries today said it has acquired a minority stake in US-based nuclear-technology design and engineering company Terra Power, for an undisclosed sum.
Mukesh Ambani-run Reliance Industries has joined hands with Microsoft Corp chairman Bill Gates, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla's Khosla Ventures, Charles River Ventures, invention and patenting firm Intellectual Ventures co-founder Nathan Myhrvold, a former Microsoft executive.
Founded in 2008 by Intellectual Ventures, Bellevue, Washington-based Terra Power, in which Gates is the primary investor and chairman, is designing a nuclear reactor that reduces the need to enrich radioactive uranium and produces less waste.
TerraPower will use the travelling wave reactor (TWR), which offers zero-emission, proliferation-resistant energy that produces significantly smaller amounts of nuclear waste than conventional nuclear reactors.
A travelling-wave reactor, or TWR, is a type of fourth-generation nuclear reactor that nuclear engineers anticipate can convert fertile material into fissile fuel as it runs using the process of nuclear transmutation.
After an initial start-up with a small amount of low-enriched material, this innovative reactor can run for 40-60 years on depleted uranium, currently a waste by-product of the enrichment process.