Bill Gates Backs Advanced Nuclear Power to Solve the Climate Crisis

UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening meeting with Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation during his visit to London earlier today. Picture: Russell Watkins/DFID

UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening meeting with Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation during his visit to London earlier today. Picture: Russell Watkins/DFID, source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Bill Gates has joined the growing list of Greens who think renewables alone cannot replace fossil fuels.

What I learned at work this year

By Bill Gates
December 29, 2018

Global emissions of greenhouse gases went up in 2018. For me, that just reinforces the fact that the only way to prevent the worst climate-change scenarios is to get some breakthroughs in clean energy.

Some people think we have all the tools we need, and that driving down the cost of renewables like solar and wind solves the problem. I am glad to see solar and wind getting cheaper and we should be deploying them wherever it makes sense.

But solar and wind are intermittent sources of energy, and we are unlikely to have super-cheap batteries anytime soon that would allow us to store sufficient energy for when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Besides, electricity accounts for only 25% of all emissions. We need to solve the other 75% too.

This year Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the clean-energy investment fund I’m involved with, announced the first companies we’re putting money into. You can see the list at http://www.b-t.energy/ventures/our-investment-portfolio/. We are looking at all the major drivers of climate change. The companies we chose are run by brilliant people and show a lot of promise for taking innovative clean-energy ideas out of the lab and getting them to market.

Next year I will speak out more about how the U.S. needs to regain its leading role in nuclear power research. (This is unrelated to my work with the foundation.)

Nuclear is ideal for dealing with climate change, because it is the only carbon-free, scalable energy source that’s available 24 hours a day. The problems with today’s reactors, such as the risk of accidents, can be solved through innovation.

The United States is uniquely suited to create these advances with its world-class scientists, entrepreneurs, and investment capital.

Unfortunately, America is no longer the global leader on nuclear energy that it was 50 years ago. To regain this position, it will need to commit new funding, update regulations, and show investors that it’s serious.

There are several promising ideas in advanced nuclear that should be explored if we get over these obstacles. TerraPower, the company I started 10 years ago, uses an approach called a traveling wave reactor that is safe, prevents proliferation, and produces very little waste. We had hoped to build a pilot project in China, but recent policy changes here in the U.S. have made that unlikely. We may be able to build it in the United States if the funding and regulatory changes that I mentioned earlier happen.

The world needs to be working on lots of solutions to stop climate change. Advanced nuclear is one, and I hope to persuade U.S. leaders to get into the game.

Read more: https://www.gatesnotes.com/About-Bill-Gates/Year-in-Review-2018

Anthony, myself, many others at WUWT have repeatedly said we have no problem with policies which encourage nuclear power, though we oppose carbon pricing because it imposes unnecessary hardship.

The evidence is unequivocal that the world could rapidly decarbonise the global economy by embracing nuclear power, without reducing consumption or making radical lifestyle changes.

France switched from coal to nuclear power in the 1970s without breaking their economy. They kept costs down by mass producing standardised reactor components, reprocessing waste fuel, and by reducing bureaucratic impediments by designating nuclear power a strategic national priority. France still generates 71% of their electricity from nuclear reactors, though lately President Macron is attempting to undo this achievement.

If nuclear power is such an obviously solution, why hasn’t it happened?

The main obstacle to going full nuclear in the West is the green movement.

When leading climate scientists beg the world to consider embracing nuclear power to decarbonise the economy, greens respond by calling them names.

Greens tell us we all must have the utmost respect for the global warming concerns of their favourite climate scientists, but that respect goes out the window whenever those same climate scientists say something which contradicts green policy objectives.

Next time a green asks you to make personal lifestyle sacrifices to reduce your carbon footprint, ask them why opposing nuclear power, the only large scale zero carbon energy source likely to receive bipartisan support, is more important to the green movement than reducing CO2. If you get an answer which makes sense let me know – because green excuses that nuclear is too expensive (not in France), or too dangerous (more dangerous than the end of the world?!) simply don’t make sense.

Update (EW): h/t Duncan Smith – Congress appears to be taking advanced nuclear power seriously, they recently passed the bipartisan S.97 – Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017.

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180 thoughts on “Bill Gates Backs Advanced Nuclear Power to Solve the Climate Crisis

    • He is assuming CO2 is a problem. It is not for two reasons. It is finite, so the free market would come up with a solution naturally, and the small increase has only shown good effects so far (greening of the Earth). No temperature or other problem has been supported by real data on the effect so far.

      • Coa; is still a dirty technology even with scrubbers. Nuclear is the path forward… that includes fusion… But Gates turns his nose up at recent innovations on tye fusion front with non-tokomak technology.

        • Molten Salt Reactors are what Fusion would like to be, cheap to build, portable, 70-year old proven test reactors that are not great for making bombs. We can save nature from industrialization and $117 Trillion by not building Massively unsustainable RE: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/07/05/monumental-unsustainable-environmental-impacts/

          See: Seaborg.co 250 MWs Thermal in a 20′ 30-ton shipping container. The Case for the Good Reactor https://spark.adobe.com/page/1nzbgqE9xtUZF/

          • MSRs are not very well developed yet, and they are so radically different from LWRs that developing safety regulations could easily require decades to do, even if the designs were fully proven, which they are not.

            We’re probably 20-30 years away from MSRs becoming a viable source of nuclear energy. That doesn’t mean that it is not worth developing them .. but current Gen IV LWRs are going to be available much sooner. Which is fine .. we won’t solve all of the world’s energy supply issues in one fell swoop this year. In the meantime we have plenty of other energy sources available.

          • Duanne,

            MSRs were far along enough for the AEC in 1962 to recommend to JFK that all civilian power be based upon the MSR due to their inherent low pressure, not water approach. Seaborg.co with have IAEA approved blueprints by 2025. Regulations in the USA will allow China, Canada, Denmark, and other countries steal away ORNL’s design.

            Building 1,500-atmosphere potential steam bombs if coolant is lost is not a great fission reactor plan. Why spend the money to build a 6′ think containment vessel when you can deal with low pressure and walk away safe design that ran for 20,000 hours in the 1960s.

      • “Nuclear is ideal for dealing with climate change”

        It is not “ideal” because it will not change a damned thing about “climate change”. False solutions to false problems lead to bad priorities choices.

        • Nuclear is ideal for dealing with people worried about climate change.

          Nuclear should satisfy both Climate change fretters and those of us wanting reliable, affordable electricity.

          SR

          • “Nuclear should satisfy both Climate change fretters and those of us wanting reliable, affordable electricity.”

            Probably the consumers who are paying for the Summer and Vogtle debacles are having a hard time believing the “affordable” part.

        • Nuclear is a win for all.

          Fossil fuel reserves are finite. We need something that can replace them. It needs to be cheap, plentiful and dispatchable. Clean is a very nice bonus. Nuclear fits the bill. And the Bill is absolutely right.

          • “Anthony, myself, many others at WUWT have repeatedly said we have no problem with policies which encourage nuclear power”

            “Nuclear is a win for all.”

            So long as it is not subsidized by the taxpayers, I can agree to let you do it. If Gates, or you, want to develop it and sell me the electricity generated at market prices, that’s great. But if Gates or anybody else wants a handout before doing it, I’d have to say, “Go to Hell.”

    • NO, it’s NOT! First, it’s got to be FUSION, not fission. Second, the BEST fusion project – which old money bags should dive into and support all the way – is a micro-fusion project here in New Jersey which runs on boron gas. Cf. http://www.focusfusion.org Third, there’s something EVEN BETTER than nuclear energy. It’s HYDRINO POWER, a chemical catalization of Hydrogen to below rest state, i.e. fractional states. Cf. http://www.brilliantlightpower.com Bill Gates is trying to kill a billion people by funding the GLOBAL DIMMING PROJECT. He’s a monster who the devil is manipulating by making him act on incomplete and wrong knowledge. He’s a evil dumbo.

      • Correct Michael… LPPFusion is THE leader in Focus Fusion (as opposed to the prevailing magnetic confinement tokamaks) … Sometime this quarter their upgraded reactor will begin test firing … since two of three criteria for fusion have already been met, (temperature and confinement time), only one major step remains, which is achieving a pure burn to achieve required densities for fusion…

        see LPPFusion.com for details. Great explanatory videos on the cover page.

        • Why limit the discussion to just LPPFusion? There are several small scale fusion development organizations like
          Tri Alpha Energy: https://tae.com/technology-overview/
          Helion Energy: http://www.helionenergy.com/
          General Fusion: https://generalfusion.com/

          I think this site limits comments to 3 links, but there is also
          EMC2, Laser Boron (in Australia), Tokamak Energy

          and probably others. At least 2 of them are investigating configurations that emit no neutrons. Meanwhile, most US DOE development money goes to the huge scale, over budget, schedule-slipping ITER

          • My personal enthusiasm for LPPFusion and the FF-1 reactor is informed by the fact that it has achieved the best results to date among the competition and probably farthest along the path to exceed breakeven levels and commercialization. Currently #5 in output among all fusion reactors. (FF-1 on the chart)

            http://lppfusion.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/ntauT-chart.png

            Very soon we’ll have a sense of whether the company can hit the last criterion for fusion.

            Furthermore, LPPFusion is completely transparent about their development program, while others, especially Tri-Alpha, for example, are often totally opaque. Results are submitted for peer-review journals. The LPPFusion design is also incredibly simple (Though the theory behind it is not)… other devices have mechanical parts and are much larger. The FF-1 can fit in a suburban car garage… you can hold the reactor core in your arms… Pretty amazing tech..

            But, hey, whatever works.

            I’ll be delighted if an other design surges to the fore.

      • Wow! This is finally Mr. Fusion!

        Come on guys, how gullible can you be? I guess as gullible as CNN, which appears to be the only “news” channel that ran this “story”.

        • I have no idea what Brilliant Light is or was… has nothing to do with LPPFusion… and Dense Plasma Focus.

        • Your summary is missing the black hat issues concerning light water high pressure reactors.
          60 percent of the population is absolutely terrified concerning nuclear power. Why? What is the reason for the light water reactor fuel rod melt downs, explosions, and radioactive releases?

          The inherent safety problem in light water reactors is fuel rods and water.

          US technology makes a naturally very, dangerous design less dangerous.

          The molten salt reactor is not safer, it does not have the catastrophic failure modes.

          The molten salt reactor can be mass produced. The US light water reactor is constructed from 8-inch plate and can hence only be produced in one factory in the world.

          The light water reactor turbines are special constructed, long delivery, as they must handle the low temperature wet steam from the 315C reactor.

          The molten salt reactor, is waterless, a no fuel rod reactor, that requires 1/3 the fuel that is 1/3 the size. It is 6 times more fuel efficient. It is 1/8th cost.

          It has no natural catastrophic failures modes. The salt melts at 400C and boils at 1400C. The reactor operates at around 650C.

          From page 683
          Introduction to Nuclear Engineering 3rd edition, J. Lamarsh and A. Baratta

          If the containment structure is not present or is improperly designed or if the emergency core cooling system (ECCS) is not present or is inoperable, the consequences of a loss of coolant accident is very serious, especially for a pressure water reactor or a boiling water plant.

          To begin with the water is under great pressure flows out and flashes to steam.
          More important, in the absence of an ECCS the uncovered fuel rods melt due to the fission product melting. This in turn leads to various exothermic reactions chemical reactions between the molten material and the water-steam mixture, some of which will produce hydrogen.

          Furthermore, the pool of molten fuel and structural material at the bottom of the reactor vessel might, in time, melt its way through the vessel, then through the concrete underneath the reactor vessel, and then sink into the ground.

          The molten salt reactor design was tested in the US 50 years ago. The test was absolutely successful. The test results were not documented by congressional order.

          Terrestrial Energy has Canadian regulatory phase 2 approval for a molten salt reactor design.

          https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609194/advanced-nuclear-finds-a-more-welcome-home-in-canada/

          Terrestrial Energy unveils SMR licensing plans

          Terrestrial included the status of the design, analyses, testing, licensing, and project planning for its Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR), which is a liquid-fuelled, high-temperature, 400 MWt advanced reactor power plant design.

          Terrestrial is examining four sites for its first commercial plant, which include the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and additional sites east of the Mississippi River.

          Last year, New York-headquartered Terrestrial Energy USA’s parent, Canada’s Terrestrial Energy Inc, announced its plans to engage with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in a pre-licensing design review, a first step towards an eventual licence application.

          • When was the last time a nuclear sub had a melt down? In the future, I picture, each dwelling have it’s own nuclear power plant. Why does it take 30 years to build a nuclear power plant?

          • “60 percent of the population is absolutely terrified concerning nuclear power. Why?”

            Because the Greens and MSM have made the public terrified of nuclear power via bad publicity.

            Old Construction Worker: The USN uses a different design of reactor than used in civilian plants, I would even say it’s a safer design but it also has it’s drawbacks. One is it’s not easy to refuel, two is they use a much higher enrichment of uranium which both lead to three, they are much more expensive.

            Refueling is a big issue. Naval ships run a lot at low power or no power (tied up to a pier using shore power), as such a reactor can last 20-25 years before needing refueling. But, if they ran at 100%/365 days a year they would need refueling in ~3yrs. Refueling is a major undertaking and very expensive in naval reactors vs. what is used in the civilian world.

            My knowledge is now old (former Navy Nuclear Machinist Mate) but if I remember right they said a reactor vessel probably would last 2 refueling before it would need to be scrapped due to embrittlement of the metal. So in an Aircraft Carrier you would get 40-50 years of life at which point the carrier is likely ready for the scrap heap anyway along with the reactor vessel. But if you have to scrap the reactor vessel and likely entire primary loop, ouch! We are talking the heart of the beast and it isn’t cheap to replace. So much for affordable nuclear power.

      • How old fashioned I must be. I was raised in a dark place where folks playing with fire would invent some new way of harnessing some physical phenomenon or another to produce useful work. Then they would build it and sell it to the public. Used to work in the old days.

        From your links I see that now we have to start with like minded people educating the public at a grassroots level. Government funding for our common dream is a must, too. And I guess physicists and engineers are out. Just psychologists…..

        Strangest thing is that these folks only need a couple million bucks to build a system that generates electricity for less than a penny per kWh. That’s basically some multigazzionaire’s after dinner fart. Or probably what some little tax exempt community organizing organization spends on it’s web presence in a year.

        Is this the new muskonomy I’ve heard so much about?

      • I’ve been watching BLP for the last 15 years.

        From a ‘possible’ it went to ‘maybe’ and it’s now at a ‘scam’ level as far as I’m concerned. The demo video I saw had ‘hydrino’ stuff crushed between two rotating electrodes, which were connected to high-amperage DC.

        They had panels of solar cells powering an LED light bank.

        When the stuff was crushed, there’d be an arc. (Wow, big surprise there!)

        When the arc flashed – the LED panel light up. (Wow! Impressive!)

        Impressive, if you weren’t familiar with old fashioned carbon arc projectors. Whole lot of very intense light (and heat) generated, and if you put a solar panel close to it, you’d get a whole lot of power.

        If they have a WORKING, repeatable, out-of-the-lab production ready COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE item, I’d take them out of the ‘scam’ level to ‘possible’ again. But they’re notably devoid of commercial applications, and pretty claims on a web site don’t mean much.

        Fusion would be nice. But I think we’re still a ways off from it. I’ll take fission plants in the interim. “Perfect” is often the enemy of ‘good enough for now’ engineering.

    • I wrote this on Bill Gates blog one year ago – he is slowly coming around to reality on energy, but still regards increasing atmospheric CO2 as a problem. It is not a problem.

      Regards, Allan

      https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/Energy-and-Civilization

      Bill wrote:
      “The main disagreement I have with Smil is about how quickly we can make the transition to clean energy.”

      Bill, I really like your work on malaria and on vaccines – I probably like a lot of other things you are doing too.

      But Bill, I have spent my career in energy and have studied global warming alarmism since 1985 – you are an intelligent man, but it appears that you are being ill-advised on climate and energy.

      Below is reference to a primer on the subject – take your time, study it, and contact me via my website if you want to discuss.

      The term “climate change” is so vague and the definition is so changeable that it is NOT a falsifiable hypothesis. It is therefore unscientific nonsense. The term “catastrophic human-made global warming” is a falsifiable hypothesis, and it was falsified long ago – when CO2 rose sharply after ~1940 while temperature declined from ~1945 to ~1977. As my co-authors and I wrote in 2002, “the alleged global warming crisis DOES NOT EXIST”.

      Current forms of clean/green energy are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy. All they do is destabilize the grid and drive up energy costs, which increases Excess Winter Deaths among the elderly and the poor. Sure there may be better forms of energy out there – but current “solutions” are costly fiascos, due primarily to intermittency. My co-authors and I wrote this conclusion in 2002, and since then tens of trillions of dollars of scarce global resources have been squandered on green energy nonsense.

      [end of excerpt]

        • Bill did not reply, to my knowledge, but he apparently has moved to my position about the fatal flaws of current green energy, due to intermittency. My comments to Bill of one year ago were:

          “Current forms of clean/green energy are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy. All they do is destabilize the grid and drive up energy costs, which increases Excess Winter Deaths among the elderly and the poor. Sure, there may be better forms of energy out there – but current “solutions” are costly fiascos, due primarily to intermittency.”

          In Bill’s article on energy of one year ago, there is little if any recognition of the intermittency problem:
          https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/Energy-and-Civilization

          In the above note, written this month, Gates states:
          “But solar and wind are intermittent sources of energy, and we are unlikely to have super-cheap batteries anytime soon that would allow us to store sufficient energy for when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.”

          That comment is correct, imo.

          Whether he came to this realization from my note of one year ago or from other sources is unknown- but it is an important positive step.

          Whether he read my “primer” on climate and energy, posted on wattsup, is also unknown – but apparently he is still a believer in the CO2-drives-climate falsehood, and that falsehood will not well-serve him or humanity.

          Regards, Allan

          • He is not prepared to step away from the Green leftists dream of de-industrialisation, despite being one of the greatest industrial enablers out there.
            The left believe destroying the world economy is worth it, if it brings UN championed single entity governance of the World’s citizens.
            The Man Made Climate Change scam, is just the useful vehicle they have adopted top further their cause.
            We should all be thankful they picked on CO2. A more beneficial component of the atmosphere it is difficult to image other than H2O.
            They refuse to debate the case against CO2 with any scientists because they know they will be embarrassed and ridiculed, for what they have pushed into the ever willing MSM and the, oh so caring (sic) left wing advocates out there.

          • The “we are unlikely to have super-cheap batteries anytime soon that would allow us to store sufficient energy for when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing” may be true, but doesn’t go far enough, and STILL makes it seem like the pipe dream of “magic batteries” is coming, if only just a bit further off.

            The problem with renewables isn’t JUST its intermittency and unpredictability, it is ALSO its lack of energy DENSITY. The amount of land that would need to be wasted on the stupidity of windmills and solar panels, EVEN IGNORING INTERMITTENCY, is enormous and completely unnecessary, when far better options (like the aforementioned nuclear, AND FOSSIL FUELS) abound. The fact that these essentially useless things also don’t last anywhere near as long as they are supposed to and also contribute to extensive toxic waste after their less-than-promised supposedly (but not really) “useful” lives are over just piles on the absurdity.

    • “The world needs to be working on lots of solutions to stop climate change.”

      You can’t stop the climate from changing Bill. The working solution part is great, by why not just leave it at that.

      Microsoft came up with great stuff. You did it because you are creative and a visionary, not because you were trying to save the world. Stick with what worked for you in the past and leave the zealotry and propaganda our of it. More will listen.

    • Matthew: Well, providing functional computer affordable to the masses was kinda positive, the Apple guys did not seem interested in that market. What I found funny is this- Gates succeeded by beating competitors, not handing out money. Bill Gates should know better than most people that handing out money is not the way to succeed at projects like this. Good to see realistic thinking stirring, at least.

      • Gates literally bullied his initial competition with thugs. He is a power hungry Savage, always was, always will be. He didn’t compete fairly, he abused his competition and bought out government officials. The guy is scum. Period.

        And he’s pushing geoengineering as well as depopulation in Africa under the guise of providing health benefits, which vaccines do not, at best they only mask symptoms.

        The guy is a maniacal psychopath and any perception of him to the opposite is self deception

        • Q.What’s the incidence of Smallpox?
          A.Zero, it’s been eradicated by vaccination.

          Thus you are shown to be talking out of your arse & so all you say can be ignored.

  1. Gates seems to actually take global warming seriously on it’s own premises. A good many in the green blob seem to want something that will not work, strictly because it cannot work. As Gates does not appear to be that sort of nihilist, nuclear is the only plausible choice.

    • I know the Gates Foundation seems to integrate issues, like climate change, energy poverty and health care.
      Our tiny consulting firm is involved with them developing MDR TB drugs in South Africa. Not surprised that they are supporting the Nuclear option.

      Happy New Year to All!

      • This guy didn’t get to be a billionaire by way of inheritance. He’s one smart fellow and a real philanthropist as well. If he buys the global warming scare, so what? At least he’s practical about the solution and has obviously come to the same conclusion as did Lomborg. Quit wasting your money on low energy density, intermittent dead ends like wind and solar and spend it on R& D in nuclear or whatever else offers real promise.

        • Trebla

          You said, “He’s one smart fellow…” Who also had some luck when IBM went looking for someone to write an OS, and perhaps some larceny. There are rumors about Gates purloining the source code for BASIC back in the days of the Stanford Homebrew Computing Club.

          • As I recall, Gates offered to sell Microsoft to IBM @ 1981 for @$100,000. Watson did not see a future or market for personal computers. I lived in Bellvue WA at the time and was involved in recruiting coders for Microsoft. They were a hiring machine in those days.

          • Bill bought QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) from Seattle Computer Products, which was the OS they quickly developed for their own 16-bit 8086 board. Look it up it’s well documented.

          • Gates is A smart monopolist who suppressed rival technologies… was nailed for these practices in the EU… in the US anything goes for the Predator Class despite all the cat about free, competitive markets.

            Microsoft products generally are poor.

          • For most leftists, a monopolist is anyone who is able to succeed on their own.
            Because courts, using screwed up political definitions declared MS a monopoly doesn’t make it one.

          • @MarkW.
            “Microsoft being a monopoly is not a matter of opinion, but a matter of fact and little has changed since these facts of emerged. It’s completely logical when considering that they have been accused of anti-competitive and monopolistic practices by virtually every modern nation, fined 10’s of billions of dollars for this to date, being saved from being split up by the court of appeals by a technicality, and that they have been fighting multiple governing bodies around the world on the grounds of anti-trust for the past 30 or so years.”

            https://medium.com/@wtfmitchel/the-monopoly-formerly-known-as-microsoft-cb81c1163b1a

            Monopolies are, of course, antithetical to competitive capitalism. There are “natural monopolies”, and like them, such entities have to be regulated when the market can’t. That or they care broken up.

            Capitalists of course love monopolies, or rather, owning monopolies. But monopolies are not good for the economy or overall commonweal.

        • Indeed, MarkW, even when Microsoft was at the peak of it’s “monopoly” power, it was not really a monopoly, there were several other OSes on the market even then. Yes, they had the lions share of the market, and they used that market muscle to get favorable concessions from manufacturers of PCs, but they were never the only game in town and thus were *not* a Monopoly:

          mo·nop·o·ly.
          [məˈnäpəlē]
          NOUN
          1.the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service.

          • Apparently there is a grand conspiracy to victimize MS and Gates:

            “In 2004, it was ruled again that Microsoft operated in an anticompetitive and monopolistic manner for virtually the same reasons as before in the US, but this time by the EU (29 countries excluding the US), and was consequently slapped with massive fine of $794 million. They were also fined $497 in 2007 and and $1.5 billion in 2008 for failing to comply with the sanctions handed down by the EU Commission. Even countries such as China have followed suit”

          • Who said anything about a conspiracy? Microsoft is/was a very aggressive (and yes even predatory) company, it was also the biggest in it’s market at the time, quite a lot bigger than its closest competitor (and it did have several competitors, still does).

    • It seems likely that an intelligent left leaning person would believe in CAGW. If Gates were to put some effort in studying the problem, he might become a skeptic.

      Leftists have much more confidence in experts and the state. The Left’s War on Science

      I stumbled on the above quote while searching for a similar quote from Listen Liberal!.

      The Left’s War on Science confirms what I read from many other sources. The left accuses conservatives of being anti-science. In fact, the shoe is on the other foot. The left uses science only when it suits their purposes. Otherwise they are absolutely vicious in suppressing good science and promoting pseudoscience.

      • If a pseudoscience movement was difficult to believe it would never attract enough attention to be noticed as a pseudoscience movement. The ridiculous proposition that renewables can save us from global warming is what led me to climate skepticism – if the solution is ridiculous, the problem the solution is meant to solve deserves closer attention. In this sense Bill Gates has taken an important first step towards the realisation that the climate movement is full of hot air.

        • Eric

          You highlighted a few passages from your article but I think one of the most revealing is:

          “<I am glad to see solar and wind getting cheaper and we should be deploying them wherever it makes sense.” (My emphasis).

          I don’t imagine any of us have anything against renewables other than the wholesale deployment of them where they do more harm than good.

          Perhaps Gates is trying to say something here that doesn’t alienate him from the alarmist crowd entirely.

          The guy isn’t daft although like anyone he has made mistakes but it seems he may have more insight than many give him credit for.

          And to be fair to him, he seems a pragmatist. He was/is constantly under fire for the ‘shambles’ of the Microsoft operating system from purists but no one has done more to bring technology into the reach of society than he has.

          Perhaps his foundation can help to do the same with energy into the future.

          • I suspect Bill Gates still wholeheartedly accepts the premise that anthropogenic CO2 is a crisis, otherwise if he was worried about offending anyone he would simply back away from the energy issue. There are plenty of other issues he could spend his time on.

            I suspect Bill is simply trying to apply logic to green ideology. The possibility that the green movement is illogical is too enormous for him to accept, though he is probably deeply troubled by the inconsistencies he has noticed.

            It will be interesting to see what happens. Greens usually get into trouble with their fellow greens when they try to be logical.

          • OK Eric, so Bill is trying to figure out a way to have his cake and eat it too, ie, placate the green crowd while actually powering the computer, etc. Do you think someday he will realize that there has not been any industry in the history of mankind that wholesale chopped up and fried our feathered friends like wind and solar? I’m thinking that Bill has enough integrity that this realization will be a dramatic wake-up call. Go Nukes!

          • And “wherever it makes sense” would be in locations too far from the grid to make a connection to REAL power plants feasible; anywhere else they are worse than useless and do far more harm than good.

        • Almost everything CAGW depends on will have some major fault that will be noticed only by experts in that particular field. I am guessing that such specialists often give the rest of CAGW a bye and assume that the particular fault they see isn’t representative of the whole.

          One of my hobbies is history. I became a skeptic when Dr. Mann tried to erase the MWP. Only then did I bring my technical background to bear on the problem.

  2. Excellent comment from Dr Evil,AKA Mr Microsoft.
    The Gang Greens Heads will be exploding.
    As these lovely people do not want a “decarbonized” economy,they want a de-peopled world and have not been shy about saying so.
    Of course Nuclear makes sense, too much sense which is why we have seen decades devoted to vilifying atomic power.
    It is my belief the smear campaign against nuclear was a test run for the CAGW myths.
    2019 would be a good year to start giving the Gang Green what they claim they want, a “carbon free lifestyle” would be most amusing to observe,as lived by those pushing for zero fossil fuels in their lives.

    • I still want to see my reality show brought to life. Each contestant would be assigned his or her own “Carbon Nazi” who would snatch away everything they had that was made from, produced with the use of, or functioned via energy produced from, fossil fuels. So, strip them naked, take their cell phones, tow away their cars, bulldoze their homes, and let them chase after their next meal with a stick they sharpened on a rock, wearing only the skins of the meals they managed to catch. Any contestant who fails to cope is then banned from preaching AGW bullshit for life.

  3. What ‘Climate Crisis’ is that which Bill Gates is talking about? I have not noticed one here. I have only noticed better rain, less hurricanes and some good environmental effects like the greening of the Earth.

    • Yes nicholas, but clearly you only live on planet Earth which has all those benefits brought about by increased CO2, on the planets far far away, populated by the little Green men and women things operate in a completely different way.
      There, any change in climate conditions is considered disastrous…

  4. Sadly Bill Gates still seems to be infected by the Satanic CO2 virus in spite of his intelligence. The money he is pouring into duff intermittent energy should be going into nuclear development. A huge waste of opportunity here.
    He should be visiting some of the respectable sceptical sites to get a more balanced view and tickle his little grey cells.

    • Bill and Melinda have done enormous good with their philanthropy in Africa and other developing parts of the 3rdWorld concerning malaria and tropical diseases.
      But some of his ideas are completely bonkers, like his $4,000 toilet to “solve” poor Africans sanitary waste disposal needs. Like who can pay for that on mass scale or keep them running past initial installation? He won’t and they can’t.
      Bill certainly qualifies as sometimes as someone having more dollars than sense (cents). Sadly, he must surround himself with sycophant scientists and engineer advosrs, unwilling to tell him bullshit is still bullshit, even if it’s his.

      • I disagree with how much he has helped with malaria in Africa. He was part of the age group that eliminated DDT in Africa killing millions and retarding millions more. I also disagree with how much of his or anyone else’s philanthropy has helped.

        I owned a business in Africa and never seen any good come from do gooders.

        Africans want cheap energy, cheap food, security and good capitalist jobs. Not one NGO I ever ran into promoted making this happen, not one. Africans are sitting on all the resources they need and want to develop those resources? Why doesn’t Bill Gates work with the World Bank to get them a loan?

        They do not want anymore damn clean burning dung stoves from these NGO’s.

        • BS – “age groups” don’t do anything. Individuals, organizations, and governments do things.

          Besides, the governments that banned DDT in 1972 were populated by people born long before World War Two. Bill Gates was only 17 years old in 1972 … not even old enough to vote, let alone run the government.

          • DDT was outlawed in Mexico with NAFTA and in Kenya in 1987. I am about the same age as Gates and sat in the same anti-nuc /DDT seminars he probably sat in during his time in collage. My attempted indoctrination was on the UW Madison campus. I didn’t agree with the leftist argument then and I don’t now. Marxism lives on through environmentalism.

            I feel gates is a coward for not using his money and power to help stop the leftist march and the suffering it is causing in the world. He has made billions off the free market capitalism and won’t confront those who are trying to destroy it.

            Populist governments are on the rise because of the fake shallow elites with big money and power telling us and others how to manage our lives. Leftist killed 100’s of millions of people and potential truly elite people/leaders during the last century, now we are stuck with fake shallow supposed elites trying to run things.

            Yes, it was an age thing and we still haven’t recovered. It will take another 100 years, God willing.

          • jjs -sorry, you have no freakin idea what you’re talking about. DDT was banned by the USA in 1972, and by most of the rest of the world shortly thereafter.

            NAFTA did not get signed and ratified until 1994, and had nothing to do with DDT.

          • First, note that jjs did not claim NAFTA was ratified any sooner than 1994. Re-read his sentence, he’s claiming two separate things there. 1) that it was banned in Mexico due to NAFTA and 2) that in was banned in Kenya in 1987

            DDT was banned by the USA in 1972, and by most of the rest of the world shortly thereafter

            NAFTA did not get signed and ratified until 1994, and had nothing to do with DDT.

            Yes and no. While true it was banned by the USA in 1972, NAFTA did indeed have something to say about it, or more specifically a NAFTA “side agreement” known as the
            “North America Agreement for Environmental Cooperation” which mandated the phase-out of the pesticide DDT in Mexico by the year 2007. The agreement came into effect January 1, 1994
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Agreement_on_Environmental_Cooperation

            so jjs was right on the money when he said “DDT was outlawed in Mexico with NAFTA”
            as for Kenya, I have no idea when it was banned there so can not say if he was also correct about “and in Kenya in 1987”

  5. The Libtards are finally realizing that their bustling metropolises can’t stay lit reliably at night with just wind and solar. And without lights (and electricity) to police them, and their gritty crime-loving dark-side, big cities like Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, Atlanta are nothing but one black-out night away from an “Escape from New York” hellhole, with criminals, gang-rapers, and looters on free reign with fearful cops holed up in their precinct bunkers waiting until daylight to view the carnage.

    And the sad part is Bill Gates is actually one of the brighter Libtards… as Libtards go.

  6. Well, thats positive.

    Of course, you know they will want to pay for it with a carbon tax. Has to be a catch.

    US can finance construction with greenbacks, at least for materials and labour that is domestic with US companies. No borrowing or taxes needed. The operators income and profits will be in regular currency so no restriction on exporting profits or paying expenses outside US

    • Like anything else the Libtards end up taxing, the tax revenue stream gets used to fund some constituency or public union or welfare that then becomes a must fund non-discretionary expense down the road. So when the carbon tax revenue stream starts to dry up, like the tobacco money did, like the highway funds on gas taxes will, falling carbon tax money shortfalls will have to be taken from general revenues to feed the beast the Left creates.

      The best solution is to not go down that carbon tax road paved of good intentions.

  7. Here’s a theory on Bill Gates and his recent land purchase. In 2018, he paid 171 million for 14,500 acres of highly productive farmland in Southern Washington from John Hancock Life Insurance Company. The land is in the Horse Heaven Hills, just south of the Tri-Cities of Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland (home of the Hanford nuclear reservation where I once worked for 13 years).

    My theory is that if farming doesn’t pay out, he can install wind turbines, solar panels, and nuclear plants. After all, this is a windy, sunny place that is friendly to nuclear.

  8. Something missing from the post, Congress has passes a bill to help advance nuclear power….they are doing this to prevent CO2 but to me, it is a win/win (we get reliable power).

    That movement seems to be in line with recommendations from MIT’s recent “state of nuclear energy” report, which states: “in the United States, nuclear plants with a combined capacity of 20 gigawatts have operating deficits of less than $12 per megawatt-hour, which suggests that a credit of this amount should be enough to keep these plants open,” adding, “Twelve dollars per MWh is a low premium to pay for low-carbon electricity. For example, it is much less than the cost of current subsidies used to incentivize additional wind generation.”

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/09/us-congress-passes-bill-to-help-advanced-nuclear-power/

  9. Bill seems to be paying attention to some of the facts.
    Further, the Foundations does some good things.
    If some of his investments fail that’s no big deal. (Trickle down $$)
    Compare to Bloomberg, Soros, or Steyer – –
    Can you think of anything nice to say about them?
    Me neither.

  10. No idea what Gates is talking about (specifically), especially the “traveling wave reactor”??, but all the world needs to do is embrace molten salt thorium reactors. Proven reliable, durable, and safe 50 years ago at Clinch River TN. Only abandoned because Adm Zumwalt (US Navy) thought the uranium-based fission reactors were more established and he wanted to launch a nuclear submarine fleet. He shut down the thorium research.

    Read the book “Super Fuel”

    Thorium-fueled fission reactors cannot run-away, can be made small, portable, and totally scalable, and can be used to consume transuranic waste from military and civilian nuclear operations, rather than spending billions to bury forever.

    The Indians and Chinese are moving forward with thorium-fueled reactors using declassified American research and technology from the 50s and 60s. Intellectual theft, as usual.

    C’mon Trump – declare American Nuclear Supremacy for the next millenium by launching the thorium-based nuclear-power revolution. This is basic engineering – no fancy-pants research needed

    The Greens will shi* their drawers!

      • We actually did it at Oak Ridge in the 60’s. Here is Oak Ridge’s video from 1969 showing the success of the molten salt reactor. The proved that molten salt was the way to cool reactors and not using water, especially pressurized water. And a scale up reactor was never authorized because politically it lost out to uranium breeder reactors that would not breed in the fast spectrum. Thorium breeds very well in the thermal spectrum. You will note at the 17 minute mark of this video that is what the ORNL guys wanted to do next after they proved that molten salt was the best way to cool a reactor. But they never got the chance. And we lost the nuclear power we were all promised.

        https://youtu.be/tyDbq5HRs0o

    • That is Admiral Hyman Rickover, not Elmo Zumwalt. Zumwalt was later and was a Surface Warfare guy who became CNO.

      • Admiral Rickover summarized his experience with “paper reactors”:

        An academic reactor or reactor plant almost always has the following basic characteristics:
        It is simple.
        It is small.
        It is cheap.
        It is light.
        It can be built very quickly.
        It is very flexible in purpose.
        Very little development will be required. It will use off-the-shelf components.
        The reactor is in the study phase. It is not being built now.

        On the other hand a practical reactor can be distinguished by the following characteristics:
        It is being built now.
        It is behind schedule.
        It requires an immense amount of development on apparently trivial items.
        It is very expensive.
        It takes a long time to build because of its engineering development problems.
        It is large.
        It is heavy.
        It is complicated.

        The tools of the academic designer are a piece of paper and a pencil with an eraser. If a mistake is made, it can always be erased and changed.

      • Thanks, Shoki, for the correction. That’s what I get for writing off the top of my head

        Apologies to Zumwalt

    • Jim, what you wrote is basically true, but it was not at Clinch River, but at Oak Ridge, the reactor fuel was U233, not Thorium (yes, it was designed with Th in mind), and it did not produce electricity, but consumed it for cooling. Wikipedia: The 233UF4 was the result of breeding from thorium in other reactors. Since this was an engineering test, the large, expensive breeding blanket of thorium salt was omitted in favor of neutron measurements.

    • Sorry, Adm Zumwalt never had anything to do with not funding nuclear R&D on MSRs. Zumwalt retired from the Navy in 1974. The earliest MSR R&D in the US was ongoing through 1976, it was run not by Naval Reactors but by Oak Ridge, and it was never a naval nuclear propulsion program. Adm. Rickover totally controlled the naval nuclear propulsion and he never sponsored any research into MSR, though he did authorize a liquid sodium cooled reactor that proved unwieldy and was shut down.

      MSRs are still in a very early stage of development, with current experimental designs being just a handful of years or less in progress. It will be at least two decades perhaps three decades before they become a viable source of nuclear energy production. Which is fine as we have plenty of other less radical designs ready to go online now.

    • Agreed – and if feasible, scale them to run individual households so “grid dependence” can be ended. Imagine no reliance on wires strung through tree-line roads during storms! And enough power to produce heat as well as electricity, all on site and safe.

      Now THAT would be “progressive!”

  11. Being almost 92 years of age I can clearly recall the anti nuclear era of the 1950 tees to the 1970 tees . A poster with a Mother holding a baby to her breast with a mushroom cloud rising in the background.

    Only when society realises that the Greens are not into “Saving the Planet”but to only want the worlds economy to collapse, as per the late Maurace Strong , then we will be offered the alternative, that of World Government, to get us back on our feet. Run of course by the United Nations.

    So what of the true caring Greens out there. Well Joseph Stalin of the old USSR said it clearly. He referred to the Wests supporters of Communism as supporter of Communism as “Useful idiots”.

    That of course must include a lot of politicians, although seeing over the years just how they operate its more likely that all that most of them are thinking about is getting re-elected, and any convienent “Bandwaggon”passing by, such as the Green blob will do.

    MJE

    • Well Joseph Stalin of the old USSR said it clearly. He referred to the Wests supporters of Communism as supporter of Communism as “Useful idiots”.

      Nail hit squarely on the head. The Green Movement is nothing more than a highly successful Russian disinformation campaign to slow down the steady development of the West’s technology. Nothing indicates the failure of an ideology, country or politics than an ever more successful competitor. You can’t hide success for very long when your people who live in poverty see the rising standard of living in the West. We know that the entirety of the anti-fracking movement is a Russian disinformation campaign, it’s been documented and even covered here at WUWT.

      So what’s changed? Trump and the liberal narrative of collusion with Russia. Liberals like Gates are finding it too much of a double think (cognitive dissonance) to support both the current version of the Russian green disinformation campaign and Trump loves Putin narrative. Additionally, liberal elites at the end of the day are a greedy bunch, that’s why they create these narratives in the first place, nuclear power is now at a stage of development where billions of dollars can be potentially made by selling power plants and their associated components.

      Were it not for the liberal infestation at all levels of US government, the FBI and CIA counter-intelligence groups would have exposed this disinformation campaign years ago. The mere existence of former CIA Director John Brennen, a debatably “former” Communist, demonstrates the level of infestation and it’s effects. That America hasn’t yet collapsed is in spite of our best facial efforts and not because of them…

      • Nice tinfoil hat ya got there. Seen any black helicopters lately hovering over your house?

        Sheesh.

        The so-called “Green Movement” began in the late 19th century, and got a huge boost during the administration of Teddy Roosevelt, our original conservationist President. Long before Lenin gained control of Russia and created the Soviet state. Soviet influence in the US was nil in the 1960s and 1970s when the modern environmental movement was born. That is, unless you believe Richard Nixon was a commie sympathizer – he signed the nation’s first environmental laws, including NEPA and creation of the EPA.

        • Duane, it is certainly true the Conservation movement began at the time of TR. Conservation groups were mainly “outdoorsmen”, i.e. hunters and fishers, and had very practical (and non political) concerns about not despoiling the wild and wildlife. This was related to effort of folks like Seth Green (no pun there) who developed the concept of fish hatcheries.

          Today’s “Greens” have absolutely no relation to the Conservationists with whom I grew up . As a proud member of the Genesee (NYS) Conservation Club we participated in the first Earth Days walking riverbanks, picking up litter (not those silly unproductive “walks” complete with protest signs). Those of us with technical backgrounds served on action groups to identify and propose solutions to sewerage fouling our rivers and streams.

          Our Clubhouse also served as a gun club (with antlers, deer heads and mounted trout decorating the walls); imagining a few of today’s “Greens” in the midst of that group is amusing.

          I’ll give you my simple opinion of the disconnect between the movement of TR’s day and modern “Greens”:
          At the fall of the Soviet Union and East Germany, the far progressive left was in disfavor; it was an easy enough step for them to pick up the green banner and in a few years (decades?) twist it to wrap around their former global, progressive and anti-capitalist agenda.

          • The environmental/deep ecology movement was ‘hijacked’.
            It must be and will be recovered but not until the financial underpinnings of the hijacker’s rackets are fully exposed.
            This is happening but we will not see the truth exposed by the MSM.

          • The 3 presidents who changed how we think about the environment were republicans. TR, tricky Dick, and George W Bush.

            There is a difference between progressive thinking and the ‘progressive political agenda’.

            “Cuomo Vows New York Will Lead Nation With Progressive Agenda”

            So what does that look like. ” He has listed legalizing recreational marijuana, codifying abortion rights and fixing New York City’s subways as three priorities for the new year.”

            When progressive thinking works it becomes a conservative thinking. For example, ending the draft and establishing an all volunteer military.

        • T. Roosevelt was a “progressive”, very much in love with big government and using other people’s money to “do good”.

  12. Scrolling through Bill’s investment link I was relieved to see that none of the companies are in the wind/solar scam. He could do so much to make the necessary move to nuclear so it’s disappointing when he supports deploying wind and solar “wherever it makes sense.” That’s misleading because he’s knows that limits their use to non-grid applications. Germany has clearly illustrated to the entire world that a wind and solar “energiewende” is an unworkable, uneconomical catastrophic mistake.

  13. I am very glad to see common sense take hold and Bill Gates throw his support behind Atomic power. This, or some form or fashion of nuclear will be the work horse of electrical generation for centuries to come. I keep hearing advocation of modular Molten Salt reactors, but have yet to see one built. It would be good to have some advanced work on these and other prototypes since Fusion is still 30 years away. As always.

    The one argument the Greens would be right about if they ever argued this point, is that towards the longer term future, the price point of fossil fuels will cause harm to the economy as they become more expensive just due to supply and demand. And fossil fuels which make up thousands of other products, may have a higher and better use for our present petro chemical requirements. Not to mention future products which have yet to be developed. Which is why they are trying so hard with carbon taxes to discourage the use of fossil fuels, although it appears to just be a crass tax grab. And an attempt to regulate the primary energy that is crucial to our advanced civilization and way of life, as well as the developing world. The way it is being rolled out, such as labeling ‘carbon’ as pollution is juvenile at best, and idiotic at worst.

    Which is why it is so important that a form of safe inexhaustible nuclear energy is ramped up to tie into our present and future electrical grids. However, with inexhaustible electricity, we will be able to manufacture complex long chain carbon molecules to our hearts content forever. The carbon based economy will be with us forever, because life and nearly everything associated with maintaining life, is carbon based. So, carbon based fuels are never going to be replaced by electricity, only how they are manufactured for thousands of years to come. Long live carbon and CO2, the stuff of life. But let’s get on with the task of developing safe, inexhaustible nuclear energy so as we can transition to a electricity driven world when fossil fuels become to expensive to utilize economically. That is a rational arguement, not some BS about carbon/CO2 ruining the climate. They have probably helped save the climate with the smidgeon of warming we may have gained from the usage of carbon based fossil fuels.

  14. Maybe Mr Gates sees that if the most rabid greens have their way then the computer industry is sunk, as increases in electricity prices and taxation for subsidies consumes more of everyone’s money. Google already got the message with their report on current green energy technology not being viable in maintaining industry (or the citizenry) with readily dispatchable power.
    Green energy in the form of wind and solar are terrible methods of supplying electricity, in contrast nuclear power has a long history of safely supplying electricity to large populations.

  15. “…Global emissions of greenhouse gases went up in 2018. For me, that just reinforces the fact that the only way to prevent the worst climate-change scenarios is to get some breakthroughs in clean energy…”

    A rise in 2018 reinforced worst-case senarious? Wah?

  16. “If nuclear power is such an obviously solution, why hasn’t it happened?”

    It hasn’t happened because nuclear power would advance Capitalism.

    Remember, climate alarmism isn’t about the climate or saving the planet, its about Marxists finding ways to hobble and encumber Capitalism.

    Nuclear power would advance Capitalism, so it is not a solution for the Marxist greenies. It does not matter if it reduces CO2 emissions, Marxist greenies are not even slightly interested. They simply can’t endorse it.

  17. Bill Gates: “TerraPower, the company I started 10 years ago”

    Observers of the energy sector have likely noticed a growing interest worldwide in small modular molten salt reactor (MSR) concepts. North American companies such as Terrestrial Energy, Southern Company, and TerraPower are working to industrialize designs (Figure 1), while the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics recently received $3.3 billion from the Chinese central government to build an MSR complex in the Gobi Desert.

    https://www.powermag.com/molten-salt-reactors-military-applications-behind-the-energy-promises/
    “Molten Salt Reactors: Military Applications Behind the Energy Promises”

    Despite the title, this article is a very interesting account of past and current designs, written by a French nuclear energy professional.

  18. Bill Gates has been a backer of Thorium GEn 4 small nucler reactors for years now. These are NOT light water reactors, but are basically molten salt reactors, whihc can burn either low grade uranium or thorium. Some (the now defunct Transatomic Power) molten salt designers preffered uranium, since usuingThoriumresults at an intermediate stage of the process produces plutonium, which we want to avoid. Molten salt reactors ais actually not a new concept – such experimental machines have been built and operated manydecades ago. But they were not practical becaus ethey could never be built with a reactor core using carbon moderators larg enough toproduce enough power output. And molten salt is very corrosive and not until a few years ago have alloys been developed that coud withstand the corrosive effects for a practcal length of time. Transatomic Power was rolling right along,having solvedalof thetechnical poblems but ran out of money. It has ceased operation but has placed its plans in the public domain for anyone to use. The remaining half dozen or so companies seem to be doing OK and have backing that will cary them into commercialization,mid 2020’s. China and India are also developing these reactors and the reasons are patently obvious : this technology is far superior to the massive light water reactors that are around today, even the Gen 3+ versions. They are cheaper – the two I consider the leaders, Moltex Energy (an English firm) and Terrestrial Energy have hired engineering cost analysis firms and their independent estimates of build costs are $1950/per watt and $2500 per watt, respectively. That’s well under half the cost of even the cheapest available conventional reactors today – those built by Chinese and Russian firms. Levelized cost of output is 4.4 cents per kWhr and 5 cents per kWhr, respectively. That’s roughly half the cost of current nuclear builds, and as cheap or cheaper than any fossil fuel. These Small Nuclear Reactors will be built in factories and sited virtualy anywhweere, being air cooled andnot requiring a body of water nearby forcooling. The can load follow, which allows them not to need mid and peak load fossil fuel generators, they cannot have an accident of any consequence – they cannot melt down, and the uranium fuel is not under any significant pressure – any fuel that might somehow ever leak out would freeze instantly upon encountering temperatures below 600 degrees. They will be built in factories and assmbled on sites that require minimal preparation. These are NOT massive structures. They are also very resistant to nuclear proliferation.

  19. Aside from trying to reason Gate’s incentive for supporting nuclear power I agree with it. Wind and solar are neither reliable nor economic enough to do the job and increasing the numbers will never get us there. This doesn’t mean I think AGW skepticism is being compromised I believe nuclear is a better source of electricity in large grids than fossil fuels. But if I had to guess (can’t pass it up) I think his decision is logic based and practical.

    • Indeed. Gates is an intelligence person despite his having bought into CAGW (even intelligent people can fall for cons), I don’t doubt that he’s given nuclear power a logical assessment and came to the same practical conclusion that nuclear is an excellent source of steady, reliable, clean (IE doesn’t spew real pollutants, regardless of it’s lack of CO2 emissions) large grid energy. I’d have to doubt his intelligence if he didn’t give it a logical assessment based on the facts and not the hysteria.

  20. The last two Earling2 and Tom summed it up well. But expect a massive and very emotionally charged campaign against Nuclear. Nuclear energy is the last thing that the Top Greens really want, its goes against all that they are working hard for, World Government via the UN. And that particular system will be Communism.

    In fact a good step forward is to get rid of the UN. First Trump should stop paying them any money, then he could evict them from that building and have it relocated in one of the poorest countries in Africa, where they can truly serve the Poor.

    The early UN, the pre-war League of Nations, mostly white people ran it, and that did not stop war or major problems, and the present mostly black and brown populated one today is even worse at solving the world many problems.

    Its become just a soap box for many worlds leaders, such as our Ex PM RUDD.

    The IPCC is of course just a mouthpiece for those so called undeveloped nations who think that the Western countries owes them a permanent flow of money.

    MJE

    • “…then he could evict them from that building….” Didn’t we/US give the property, building and tax exemption to the UN? I don’t think we can evict them though that would be appropriate considering their open non support of the US and Capitalism.

      • The buildings not that big so wall it off – even at New York Union rates, it won’t cost that much to build a wall around it.

      • markl, Tax exemptions can be revoked and there’s always eminent domain. If it can be used to take away a citizen’s home, it can certainly be used to take back the UN building.

        • Yeah surely there’s a need for a new “cloverleaf” highway junction or something on that real estate.

  21. It’s Fen’s Law:

    “The Left doesn’t really believe in the things they lecture the rest of us about “.

    Applied here, it means you are wasting your time and energy arguing with the Greens that nuclear is the solution to any climate crisis. You are shelling a hill the enemy never occupied.

    They don’t care about solving “global warming” because it’s not about saving the planet, it’s about Global Marxism via redistribution of energy production and consumption.

    Nuclear energy will not solve this, eradicating postmodernism and the Marxists will.

  22. Positive. The green blight is a niche solution, as is the black blob, that are first-order forcings of catastrophic anthropogenic political climate change, which is a threat to lowlands, highlands, and islands.

  23. If we eliminate the use of fossil fuels by going nuclear, we’ll have to find an alternate way to pump plant food into the atmosphere.

    • Have everyone use propane for grilling and cooking? – ala CO2 ‘generators’ in greenhouses? (they simply burn propane)

  24. 1st Happy New Year
    not all environmentalists have the same ideas and solutions to problems just like any large political affiliation – there’s so much diversity in opinions and agendas.
    there are so many pros and cons for all types of energy generation – the big con for nuclear – no one – even the self proclaimed ‘I have the answer to everything’, Bill Gates – mentions is the burial of the waste – so many issues already with this – whether for reactors that generate medical isotopes and are solely used for research or those for electricity generation – THE NUCLEAR WASTE – lasts for millions of years – who wants it buried in their backyard???

    https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/nitv-news/article/2018/09/18/south-australia-could-be-final-destination-british-nuclear-waste

    https://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.ashx?id=960bb823-b74d-427f-a277-948da4ab97ac&subId=565224.

    LOTS OF BIG DECISIONS YET TO BE MADE

    • This makes burning coal too expensive.

      In addition the process of concentrating large amounts of CO2 is potentially extremely dangerous – a natural CO2 “burp” in Africa in 1986 killed people up to 15 miles away from the source of the CO2, by displacing breathable air.

      A similar catastrophe near a populated city would cause loss of life on a scale comparable to the detonation of a large nuclear device.

      • Eric, that’s another example of Wikipedia being wrong. Displacing 5% of the oxygen has the same effect as climbing a small mountain (almost no effect, certainly not hypoxia). Adding that same 5% amount of CO2 to air will cause immediate distracting discomfort and 8% will cause dizziness, stupor, and unconsciousness. At 15% you will die of hypercapnia in a few minutes. There’s still plenty of oxygen, but the CO2 level in your bloodstream will rise too high.

        I accidentally got a lungful of 80/20 CO2/O2 and I went into immediate uncontrollable hyperventilation (of clean air). At the time, I was working on a prototype oxygen rebreather breathing apparatus.

  25. From the fourth paragraph of the portion of Bill Gates’a letter/article as quoted in the above article: “We are looking at all the major drivers of climate change.”

    So, therefore, if Gates is true to his word, that means he’ll be funding companies that have the primary objective of managing:
    1) solar insolation at TOA,
    2) Earth’s relationship to/dependence on Milankovitch cycles,
    3) absolute humidity (water vapor content) in Earth’s atmosphere,
    4) sources of nucleation sites (i.e., sources of aerosols, dust and salt crystals) that serve to create clouds in the troposphere,
    5) factors (TBD) responsible for the PDO and the AMO, and last but not least,
    6) Earth’s plate tectonics (aka, continental drift).

    Just brilliant, Bill . . . go for it!

  26. It’s not greens asking you to make personal lifestyle choices, it’s anti-greens trying to convince people it’s all THEIR fault instead of the big industries that pay lots of money to keep polluting.

    It’s not the eco-nuts that are blocking nuclear power, because while plenty of them are loopy-scared of nuclear power they have no power to start or stop anything. It’s NIMBY that blocks nuclear power, NIMBY and the fact that no energy company wants to put forward an expensive investment building a NEW reactor when they can just keep fueling and burning their ugly, dirty, and half-broken coal-burner if they buy some cheap whore politicians.

    Of course, chances are you already knew that, since you have a tendency to lie a lot.

    • Dorcus “…when they can just keep fueling and burning their ugly, dirty, and half-broken coal-burner if they buy some cheap whore politicians…” Funny. Since these days by far the biggest growth in brand spanking newly built ‘coal-burners’ is in China would those “cheap whore politicians” you are referring to perhaps be their government? Just asking.

    • dorcus, have you ever spent any time in the real world?
      The greens aren’t asking people to do anything, they are demanding that people behave as they want. They are very vocal about it. If you’ve missed it, it can only be because you don’t want to see it.

      Where’s this pollution that has your panties in such a wad?
      It’s the eco-nuts who have been donating to politicians based on their opposition to nuclear power.
      It’s the eco-nuts who have been suing anything to do with nuclear power with the declared intent to not let anything be built.

      ugly, dirty, and half-broken coal-burner

      Nice of you to let us know how you really feel. Now why don’t you wake up and live in the real world for awhile.

      • Your delusions are noted. Meanwhile in reality the greens have no political power, the lawsuits stop nothing, and in many cases don’t even exist. “Suing everything”? A quick skim shows various lawsuits against power companies for cheating, a few lawsuits that whose dismissals say big power companies get to keep all their secrets regardless of their practices (and how unsafe/regulation skirting they might be) and a lawsuit that says nuclear energy gets free money.

        There’s more lawsuits going against the greens for their horrible crime of ‘saying mean things’.

        No, if your secret dream of every Green getting murdered came true not a THING would change in terms of nuclear power deployment. They have no power, they have no clout, they DEFINITELY have no money.

        It’s NIMBY and good old industrial inertia.

  27. Better late than never, Bill. Welcome to the nuclear club. Once in, people rarely leave.
    But be cautious, my friend. Otherwise you may suddenly realize that most of the other global-warming twaddle is a house built on intellectual sand. If the full magnitude dawns all at once you may feel the need to seek counseling or other medical attention.

    p.s. Bill. Back in ~2001 you could see my apartment from where you lived if you looked North-West across the lake to U.Village. (Obviously my view of the Cascades was much better. 🙂 )

  28. Traveling Wave Reactors certainly have advantages over current LWRs, however, in terms of safety, construction costs, fuel costs (Thorium is dirt cheap and abundant) and ultimate cost/kWh, LFTRs are still much safer and cheaper to run ($0.03/kWh—50% cheaper than coal and natural gas).

    Traveling Wave Reactors (TWRs) also have the inherent problem of using Liquid Sodium for cooling, which is very volatile and dangerous stuff—ask the Japanese.. LFTRs also have a passive safety system which works 100% of the time; as long as gravity works, LFTRs are perfectly safe…

    TWRs also require water for steam generators, while LFTRs use Brayton generators or gas generators, which require no water.

    China will have commercial LFTRs by 2030. If the US doesn’t catch up quickly, a second wave of industrial production will move to China to take advantage of cheap and unlimited power.

    Gates should have put his money in LFTRs rather than TWRs…

  29. By championing nuclear power and opposing fossil fueled power Mr. Gates has proved himself to be a sucker for a pseudoscientific argument which states that carbon dioxide emissions cause global warming.

    • Not necessarily. There are other reasons to think fossil fuels will not energize humanity indefinitely. He may believe fossil fuels cause global warming but he may also believe that fossil fuels are not the long term answer even if they don’t cause global warming.

  30. “The traveling wave reactor is another form of a liquid metal fast breeder reactor. It is a particularly difficult implementation of that reactor. That reactor is already hard to build in first place, with the traveling wave they make it even more complicated by saying we are going to leave the fuel in the reactor for the lifetime of the reactor.

    “Physically propagate this deflagration wave, a nuclear conversion and burning wave. Why on Earth would you take such a hard reactor and make it even harder to what end? What is your goal? And all I’ve been able to read as far as their goal is that they want to never have to recycle or replace the fuel.

    “At the end of their life their concept is to just bury the thing in the ground and leave it there. I’m thinking, “You don’t leave a bunch of plutonium in a pool of liquid sodium underground for an extended period of time. That is a bad disposal option.”

    “They have attracted Bill Gates who of course is an extremely wealthy man. If Bill Gates wants to save a lot of money he can get in touch with me and I think I can talk him out of traveling wave.

    “He won’t return my calls.”

    [other speaker] “Don’t feel bad.”

    ~from Thorium Remix 2011

  31. More nuclear is needed to significantly reduce the use of fossil fuels but such will have no effect on climate. The reality is that the climate change we are experiencing today is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and there is plenty of scientific rationale to support the idea that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero. It is all a matter of science.

  32. Regarding the Waste”” from nuclear power plants, Australian scientists came up with “Simrock way back in the 1960 tees, and there are plenty of holes all over the world, such as oil drillings etc. Anyway Australia is perfect for a nuclear waste site, other than the Greens to scare us. Its geologically stable, way back from shifting plates, and we could charge a reasonable fee for its use.

    Anyway we can use Nuclear for the generation of electricity plus certain medical uses. We will still need petrol or diesel, their use will surly provide ample CO2 for the greening of the Earth.

    Anyway just how much of human made CO2 is there in the world. What about the massive growing of rice, that’s methane which does break down into CO2.

    Plus of course all wild life, the perfectly natural variety. They all “Fart” and shock horror that’s CO2 as well.

    So lets kill off the nutty CO2 greens, by governments using the TV and print etc to tell us the scientific truth for a change.

    True the left of politics will try to hold onto CO2 scare a bit longer, but then in those parts of the world with such h government, s sooner or later their “Lights will go out”.

    MJE

  33. Common core-creator Bill Gates has probably done more to hurt humanity than any other single human being on Earth by creating and instituting via his colossal fortune and clout the mass brainwashing of America’s children into believing, through the pretext of science education no less. in the unsubstantiated and agenda-driven human-caused global warming hysteria as reported on this excellent site a while back:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/04/24/climate-youththe-next-generation-science-standards/

    • Come to think of it, in a problem/reaction/solution sort of way Gates is creating the demand or problem through promoting the human-caused climate change panic and the solution with his TerraPower molten salt reactors…

      Oh! and Happy New Year WUWT!

      • While your criticism of Bill Gates funding climate alarm may well be justified, he is hardly alone. But let’s consider that he has also funded tackling the scourge of Malaria in a way that would probably enrage most eco-loons and give credit where it is due. Reading between the lines, his statement that renewables can’t cut it suggests he has had the sense to see through the nonsense churned out by the green blob and realises, entirely correctly, that nuclear power is the way to go.
        In the U.K. we we have the prospect of Jeremiah Maduro Mark II waiting to practise socialist energy poverty of the green kind. Swap for Bill Gates anytime thanks.
        Happy New Year to you and all at WUWT.

  34. Gates has proved many times over his entire life that he is just another predatorial shark in the pool.

    If you can believe the sincerity of this horrible guy that has deliberately pushed back technological progress time after time with his theft of IP (anyone remember he STOLE windows NT, the very basis of his current OS from Digital and got sued for it) you are no better than the AGW guys who also hide their end game…
    Windows? it was designed to destroy any other competitor and impose a tax on computer ownership – to benefit who else but GATES.
    He actually succeeded in b. shting his way out of the antitrust case that was brought against his company.
    Sounds like a scammer to me.

    I also have very serious issues with all/any of the following:-

    “France switched from coal to nuclear power in the 1970s without breaking their economy.
    They kept costs down by mass producing standardised reactor components, reprocessing waste fuel, and by reducing bureaucratic impediments by designating nuclear power a strategic national priority. France still generates 71% of their electricity from nuclear reactors, though lately President Macron is attempting to undo this achievement.
    If nuclear power is such an obviously solution, why hasn’t it happened?
    The main obstacle to going full nuclear in the West is the green movement.
    When leading climate scientists beg the world to consider embracing nuclear power to decarbonise the economy”

    1/ France switched from coal to nuclear power in the 1970s without breaking their economy…
    No, France switched to nuclear power by having a deliberate policy of having health and safety work practices half a century behind anyone else. They also nigh on bankrupted the north of France getting rid of coal, places which remain to this day black spots of unemployment.
    They have now spread their pollution to places in Africa where they can more easily get away with it…

    It is difficult to believe how such a country could mine uranium all over their own country, give away the tailings to make roads and build eco-buildings, swamp the ground water of Limoges with radioactive discharges into the water supply and then btw, allow the asbestos industry free rein to kill 1000s, then (judgment of DEC 2018!) after 30 yrs of a fight to obtain justice, let off every single one of the management of those companies from going to prison for it…

    2/ “If nuclear power is such an obviously solution, why hasn’t it happened?
    The main obstacle to going full nuclear in the West is the green movement.”

    I don’t believe this either.
    The main obstacle to making more nuclear power IN THE UK (I am not against btw), is retiring a whole generation of engineers, then the Blair and Brown government giving away their entire IP and manufacturing base away at bottom of barrel prices. You couldn’t make it up.
    The UK was the FIRST country in the world to make NPP work.
    Those 2 should be sitting in prison.

    If you then consider that we have given our IP away to the Chinese, to build NPP in Europe, who have a totally lackadaisical approach to anything safety conscious (and to the same French who are doing what I described in France)…. you already have a situation which creates & should rightly create suspicion of malpractice & collusion.

    The other elephants in the room were the decision in the USA, NOT to reprocess fuel, inc NOT to use weapons grade material in NPP. Instead they bought it from Russia.
    These are decisions which pile up problems for the future, and are rapidly becoming an expensive nightmare.

    3/ What to do with the low level mine tailings, the low level waste, intermediate level waste and the high level reactor waste products?
    We have no answers to these.
    The principal of polluter=payer does NOT work.

    We had no answers to how to manage nuclear accident problems or lake Karachay, or how to clean up simple places even on the St Bernard pass or parts of Scotland, Wales, Finland, or Sweden after the huge depositions of Caesium 137 from chernobyl..
    Nobody has volunteered to return the residents of Bikini atoll to their island or clean it up?

    Chernobyl was paid for by guess who?
    NOT Russia or Ukraine.
    It all sounds like social engineering and experimentation at its worst.
    Frankly Russia should only be considered a “great country” if it were capable of clearing up Semipalatinsk, the rivers & lakes adjoining Mayak, and stop lying when you let loose a whole load of Ruthenium into the environment.

    Until the nuclear industry,eg. cogema and the same organisations in the USA, China, India, Russia, starts taking cleaning up seriously and find solutions to the only very large nascent problems they are creating, it’s hard to find a case for uranium,.
    If Gates were sincere (sarc), he would be producing a solution out of a hat to use a different version of fission reaction from the ones which we are currently using..which produce far more controllable amounts of pollution.

    I fear this guy is even more ignorant of the subject than he is of the backwardness of his own company which has cloned, copied produced fail after fail after fail, then blamed it all on other people.
    Look at Skype for the perfect example of what NOT to do, and this guy wants to do nuclear??

    • anyone remember he STOLE windows NT, the very basis of his current OS from Digital and got sued for it

      1) he didn’t “steal” it, he hired Dave Culter and a number of other former Digital employees who used their knowledge gained from working at Digital in their work at Microsoft (in other words the same people wrote the code for the two OSes). You can argue the ethics of them using concepts they previously developed at Digital, but technically it’s not stealing.
      2) he did not get sued for it: “Why the Fastest Chip Didn’t Win” (Business Week, April 28, 1997) states that when Digital engineers noticed the similarities between VMS and NT, they brought their observations to senior management. Rather than suing, Digital cut a deal with Microsoft. In the summer of 1995, Digital announced Affinity for OpenVMS, a program that required Microsoft to help train Digital NT technicians, help promote NT and Open-VMS as two pieces of a three-tiered client/server networking solution, and promise to maintain NT support for the Alpha processor. Microsoft also paid Digital between 65 million and 100 million dollars.

  35. The evidence is unequivocal that the world could rapidly decarbonise the global economy by embracing nuclear power, without reducing consumption or making radical lifestyle changes.

    Uh, no. Going Nuclear will not decarbonize the global economy. Not unless you plane on all the cars, trucks, trains, ships, and planes also being Nuclear.

    Transportation isn’t going electric anytime soon, regardless of how the electricity is produced. So we can only decarbonize the electrical grid. That would make a dent in CO2 production, if that’s a concern to you, possibly low enough to stabilize atmospheric levels. But we WILL still be needing Fossil Fuels for some time to come.

    ~¿~

  36. Gates first discussed the Traveling Wave Reactor (TRW) at the 2010 TED talks.
    Here’s the YouTube link. The most relevant parts of his talk regarding TRW are at the 10, 13 and 19 minute points of the video.
    https://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates/transcript?language=en#t-1456034

    The nuclear fission TRW reactor would use spent fuel from existing nuclear reactors (the stuff nobody wants in their back yards).
    Seems like you solve several problems with this:
    Safer reactor
    Long term energy source (if you can solve molten sodium/chloride cooling issues)
    Zero CO2 emissions (I’m not a believer in “anthropogenic global warming”, but if it gets warmists like Gates on board for long term, reliable energy, it’s a selling point )
    Burns spent nuclear fuel that no one wants stored near them

    The downside is using the molten sodium or molten chloride cooling system.

    Here are a couple of links that discuss the TRW reactor in more detail.
    https://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/nuclear/terrapowers-nuclear-reactor-could-power-the-21st-century

    https://www.businessinsider.com/bill-gates-terrapower-molten-salt-nuclear-reactor-2018-10

  37. Possibly an apology for Windows 10 but otherwise “What Climate Crisis?”

    The Crisis is that ‘Global Warming’ is entirely imaginary – it only exists inside folks’ heads.
    And it was put there by a totally sh1t diet revolving around sugar (refined and fermented & cooked starch) and reinforced with cannabis, coffee, Ibuprofen, Prozac, Opium (prescription and otherwise), MDMA, glue solvents etc etc and further aided and abetted by the bottle-feeding of newborns.

    The resultant train-wreck going on inside almost everyone’s head on a daily basis results in Governments that are permanently overspent and bankrupt.

    And there-in is The Crisis. Even the brain-dead zombies that now run & control the system realise it is not sustainable.
    But that very mental lethargy that created it can only see one solution:
    Ever more regulation and tax – hence where Climate Crisis comes racing to their rescue.

    The Chinese via massive production of Cheap Nasty Plastic Tat have enabled a brief respite but it has major hazards – if renowned Climate Scientists like Roy Spencer cannot be ar5ed to even read the instruction manuals and thus nuke their own scientific credibility- we are in some truly deep schist.

    More ordinary zombie punters simply admire the tsunami of shiny junk and conclude very simply that “Things Have Never Been Better” then put it away into storage (often = landfill) thus making room room to buy ever more.

    Next time you meet an (Ancient) Roman, Minoan, Inca, Greek, Phoenician or Eden Gardener: ask them and they’ll tell you about it.

  38. I am overjoyed that Bill Gates is giving how own money rather than advocating the allocation of government (taxpayer) money.

    If nuclear power is such an obviously solution, why hasn’t it happened?

    The simple answer is that what is really important to those who advocate environmental policy is not so much to have a pristine environment, but to achieve a spiritually elevated humanity. The bulk of the policies demanded converge far faster on creating the mythical organic, natural, sustainable, pure secular Garden of Eden where humans will have transcended the petty and destructive aspects of their innate nature. In short, they seek a New Earth for their New Socialist Man.

    Those seeking this impossible Utopia are only stopped by the practical realities of hard limits. They have fixated on generating power via technologies they view as “sustainable” up until the moment their cost or other factors of deployment overwhelm their vision. Then their energies are focused on the next source of power. A nuclear power plant has no organic appeal. It is just too “industrial” for their tastes, no matter how clean and safe it may be. No matter how many hawks and song birds are chopped up by wind turbines, wind power is “sustainable”, even on the most cold and still night in January. Such people are immune to reason.

    see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Soviet_man

  39. Be interesting to see if Gates’ TerraPower or other companies will be able to integrate the work done on the now defunct Transatomic’s project to run on spent fuel:

    “A nuclear startup will fold after failing to deliver reactors that run on spent fuel…
    …Transatomic will open-source all its intellectual property, making it available for other researchers to “continue the work that we’ve started and hopefully build on it.” ”

    https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/612193/nuclear-startup-to-fold-after-failing-to-deliver-reactor-that-ran-on-spent-fuel/

    • CANDU reactors have been able to do this since their development post WW2, and burn Thorium too. Everyone resists the CANDU’s need for heavy water, but is willing to spend gazillions on sexy sounding molten metal cooling, or molten salt. Plus CANDU’s safety dues have been paid, areas around Chalk River having been turned into a mini-Chernobyl 70 years ago but resulted in over 30 safely operating reactors worldwide today.

      • DMac
        Yes CANDU perhaps does deserve another serious chance, alongside the molten salt thorium and other 4th generation designs.

        Ecclesiastes 11:6
        Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.

  40. If CAGW scientists “really believed” and had a lick of honesty, they’d have LOUDLY pointed out that all the current UN plans costing many 10’s of $TRILLIONS will not have a measurable effect on the “problem”…even when using their own inflated CO2 climate sensitivity numbers.

    These CAGW scientists are getting lots of these $$…and lots of institutional power…so don’t expect the truth from them.

    Bill Gates’ advisors can do these 4th grade “back of the envelope” calculations…so they know AGW proposals won’t actually do anything about the climate.

    Why don’t they point that out as well? Why only point out the absolute folly of Solar and Wind? (Maybe they will after getting their nuclear solutions in place…as a reason to escalate the “nuclear solution”.)

    For the AGW cabal it’s all about money and power, and AWG is only the latest effective tool.

  41. There can be no doubt that advanced nuclear energy is required for civilization to continue to advance, after all, we will eventually run out of oil and wind and solar can’t replace hydrocarbons. However; there is no climate crisis except for the one invented by the media based on the faulty science embraced by the IPCC.

    • People rarely examine the drivers of demand, namely demographics and efficiency measures. Global population growth has slowed dramatically. The world’s population will likely peak by 2070, maybe sooner. Half of people in the world are already “middle class,” ie consuming at peak energy.

      What’s more, energy efficiency measures have and will continue to reduce per capita use. It’s also likely that an aging population consumes less energy than a younger one. As we all know, most of the advanced industrial economies are aging rapidly.

      Demographic and technological changes will eventually solve any energy problems (and carbon emissions issues, if you’re a believer). My message is, “Don’t worry, be happy.”

  42. For a start they could catch up with the Russian BN-800 fast breeder reactor and the VVER-1200 PWR.

    In 1990 I did a postgraduate research project at the experimental fast breeder reactor at Dounreay, Scotland. Here they tried and failed where Russia have now succeeded with the BN-800. The problem at Dounreay was always liquid sodium leaks at welded joints in the pipes. I kept think to myself, why couldn’t they cast all the pipe junctions? I guess the Russians must have done this or something similar.

  43. Gates is incapable of making anything that is either secure or doesn’t crash.
    He has not the slightest clue what means 24/24/365 which is why the majority of the world’s servers avoid him like the plague.

    Aircraft don’t run windows OS, have multiple redundancy built in, and are designed to fail safe.
    Would you want anything less than that?

    It puts Gate’s entire ethos and opportunistic “do gooder” nonsense firmly in perspective.
    better keep him well away from anything “mission critical”please!

    The whole idea that Gates should have anything to do with a serious industrial application is just so totally laughable.

    Look what the military use?
    *nix etc
    https://www.vision-systems.com/articles/print/volume-3/issue-3/features/feature-article/dual-buses-empower-for-french-navy-ship.html

    TED is so full of hot air, it suits Gates perfectly, like that other mega-scammer MUSK.

    • The bottom line for Gates has always been his SOP – Embrace and Extend. In other words, steal and hold your customers hostage. After seeing the Xerox Star, Jobs did the same thing at Apple. There is a lot of taxpayer funded BSD code in both products.

      One wonders where this ideology will lead to with Nuclear Energy.
      That alone is a frightening thought…

  44. As someone who worked with computers when Bill “inventor of the computer” Gates was in kindergarten and who watched his rise to riches and stardom, I say that he is not the technical genius he is made out to be. However, he is a ruthless businessman. All his riches came from using the work of others as if it were his own.

    My point is that he’s not an expert on anything and his opinions are best ignored.

  45. Gates should look to his own backyard as a place where he could do some real good with his charitable work. Seattle has a rampant and worsening homeless problem. The homeless have created unsanitary conditions with feces and urine on the streets, unhygienic living situations, diseases, drug use, alcoholism and the greater societal impacts created by a large homeless population. Homeless people are now camping everywhere in the city including the supposedly “nice” downtown areas. This is a tangible problem that Gates could help solve in the very state where he became the world’s richest man. And maybe he should look into Soylent Green as an energy source – there are A LOT of homeless people after all 😉

  46. “The main obstacle to going full nuclear in the West is the green movement”?
    Sorry, its because nuclear is too expensive.

    In 2018, in most of the United States, the average price of wholesale power was less than 3-1/2 cents a kilowatt hour, thanks to natural gas, a fuel so clean most people burn it in their kitchen, and so plentiful it will be coming out our ears for hundreds of years..

    You cant even pay the operating costs at a nuclear plant for that 3-1/2 cents, which is why dozens of existing nuclear plants are scheduled for abandonment. And building a new one? Fat chance. The cost is 1200 percent of building a a gas fired power plant.

    • The US government recently approved a bill facilitating development and licensing of advanced nuclear power technology. Bill Gates is now supporting nuclear technology development They all seem to know something that you don’t.

      Russia, China and India and other countries as well are forging ahead with nuclear generation programs. When you strip out the artificial added political costs and green sabotage costs, nuclear is not that expensive.

      The initiatives of the US government and Bill Gates are in acknowledgment that the USA has lost its leadership in nuclear technology. Russia and China now lead this field. The USA, UK, France and Germany all worked for several decades on fast breeder sodium cooled reactors, and all terminated their programs concluding that it couldn’t be done. But the Russians have cracked it. The Beloyarsk BN-600 and BN-800 fast breeder reactors are providing baseline electricity in a rather uneventful manner (which is what you want if you’re a grid manager).

      The US has lost nuclear leadership due primarily to you and your colleagues in the multi/million dollar anti nuclear green establishment. You have sabotaged the economy of the democratic western countries. You have had everything your way for years, but now increasingly people are on to you and your Luddite wrecking game.

  47. Bill Gates should be congratulated for this nuclear initiative.
    It is intelligent, forward looking and much needed.
    He is making an incomparably better contribution to our future than the cynical and misguided donations from the likes of Leonardo Di Caprio and the deviously self-interested “oil-trains-R-us” Warren Buffet. Not to mention the irresponsible buffoon Thomas Steyer.

  48. Found this on an industry website…

    MS Reactor Home & Business 2.0 only needs to be rebooted after a meltdown once every week or so. That’s a 60% improvement over version 1.0! In version 2.5 it is rumored that Microsoft will finally be adding the much-anticipated feature of outputting useful power. Sources familiar with the product roadmap tell us that it will be available through a proprietary interface that you can only use if you re-wire your entire home with pluggable modules, available in late 2023, pricing not yet announced. (However, other analysts expect that this may not be delivered until the new Fusion product is released in 30 years).

    Now available: For 40% of the original purchase price paid annually, you can convert to the (mushroom) cloud subscription Meltdown 365 and always run the latest version. You will have the benefit of performing the quality assurance testing for Microsoft, so that you can be sure to experience all the bugs. Plus you will be connected directly to Russian and Chinese hackers at no extra charge. (A $199.95 value).

  49. What can explain the alarmists reluctance to embrace nuclear power? It’s blindingly obvious that it’s the only large scale, low-carbon energy source that accomplishes what the alarmists claim to be necessary.

    Could it be sheer embarrassment at having actively opposed nuclear power for their entire lives? They should be happy for how easy and convenient it can be to switch sides. Just pull out their old protest signs, change the word “No” to “Now” and they’re ready for the next protest!

    • You asked: “What can explain the alarmists reluctance to embrace nuclear power?”

      One cannot logically put carbon-use taxes on an energy source that does not use a carbon-based fuel.

      Next question.

      • Indeed, the “carbon-tax” money won’t roll in if people aren’t using carbon-based fuels (such as nuclear).

        Besides which eliminating fossil-fuels isn’t really their goal, it’s just a means to an end – that end being power and the transformation of the world into their socialist utopia. Never mind that it’s failed everywhere it’s been tried (see Venezuela for the most recent example).

  50. This another example of the arrogance of the rich and famous. They assume that they are smarter, more innovative, and are better leaders.

    Every one else is stupid because they are not rich and famous. They will show us how to fix the problem. They alone will get it done.

    Of course they never get it done.

    If every problem is a crisis then the word loses its meaning.

    The power industry does a very good job of delivering the finite amount of electricity. About 20% comes from nuclear power. The US is the world leader in producing electricity with nuclear power. There is not a close second.

    Bill Gates can not do a better job. Someone told him there were problems but he did not check to see if a paper reactor would do a better job.

    The amount of nuclear power a country needs depend on the supply chain of coal or natural gas. This why China is building nukes. Nothing to do with climate.

    With a few exceptions, all new reactors are derivatives of LWR specified by Rickover for US subs.

    The reason is simple. If you can fit a reactor into a sub, you can fit it into a containment building. That ensure 100% safety. Following our design rules not one person has been hurt by radiation from LWRs.

    My first reactor was the Seawolf prototype and the last was the 1600+ MWe EPR that is now commercial in China.

    As far as leadership goes there is more competition than before. Russia, France, and South Korea for example. While the reactor vessel remains the same, the design of fuel assemblies is new fore each reload.

    The bottom line is Bill Gates is blowing smoke.

  51. Posted here:
    https://www.gatesnotes.com/About-Bill-Gates/Year-in-Review-2018

    Environmental harm from green energy schemes includes accelerated draining of the vital Ogalalla Aquifer for corn ethanol production in the USA and clear-cutting of the rainforests in South America and Southeast Asia to grow biofuels. These actions continue to cause huge environmental damage.

    Due to grid-connected intermittent wind and solar power, energy costs have sharply increased, vital electrical grids have been destabilized, and Excess Winter Deaths have increased.

    Based on the evidence, including the Mann hockey stick and the Climategate emails, global warming and green energy are the greatest scams, in dollar terms, in the history of humanity. Many trillions of dollars of scarce global resources have been squandered on global warming/green energy falsehoods.

    A fraction of these wasted trillions could have put safe water and sanitation systems into every village on Earth, and run them forever. About two million kids below the age of five die from contaminated water every year – over sixty million dead kids from bad water alone since the advent of global warming alarmism.

    The remaining squandered funds, properly deployed, could have gone a long way to ending malaria and world hunger.

    Told you so, years ago.

    Regards, Allan

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