Could Next-Gen Reactors Spark Revival In Nuclear Power?
Tech titans like Bill Gates are helping fund a new generation of commercial nuclear reactors, some likely in China, as a solution to climate change. Will the new U.S. Clean Power Plan give them a boost?
Leslie Dewan was only in sixth grade, building a mini water wheel in science class, when the last new U.S. nuclear reactor began producing power.
Now, at age 30, she’s the millennial face of next-generation nuclear. A slight look-alike to actress Amy Adams, this co-creator of a new molten salt reactor defies the stereotype of the middle-aged male nuclear scientist.
Much about the tech-savvy push to reboot nuclear power bucks tradition. Many U.S.-based startups with advanced reactor designs are backed by venture capitalists, not the U.S. government. Their impetus differs, too. Unlike American scientists of the 1950s and 19560s, who were locked in an atom-splitting Cold War race with the Soviet Union, they aim to combat climate change.
“I’m an environmentalist. I’m doing