Human beings have an amazing capacity for selective memory. Just over a year ago, Japan suffered through a massive nuclear fallout, the consequences of which are still being discovered. Rather than taking the Fukushima power plant disaster as a warning to steer clear of nuclear power, Korea seems undeterred – the country has teamed up with Microsoft founder Bill Gates to develop a revolutionary nuclear reactor that Gates claims will create far less radioactive waste than existing ones.

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Not surprisingly, Gates isn’t just doing this out of the goodness of his heart. In 2010, the software mogul announced that he had invested $35 million in a nuclear-power venture company TerraPower. Gates also agreed to act as Chairman for the start-up, whose mission is to make nuclear reactors smaller, cheaper and safer than those being built today. In 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was seeking a partner to help build the experimental reactor, and a country willing to host it, and it appears Korea has agreed to be the guinea pig. (Current reports fail to specify in which sovereign Korean state the reactor will be located. We can only assume it’s South Korea).

Gates met with the head of the Korean Nuclear Society, Chang Soon-heung, in Seattle on Thursday and agreed to cooperate in the development of a sodium-cooled fast reactor, the KNS said Sunday. SFRs are next-generation nuclear technology that can use spent nuclear fuel rods from conventional reactors (like those stockpiled in the image above) thus generating less nuclear waste.

+ TerraPower

Via Far East Gizmos