China National Nuclear Power Company Ltd (CNNP), a subsidiary of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) plans to establish a company to promote the development of a  travelling wave reactor (TWR) design, the state-run China Daily reported on 12 September.

The new organisation will be a partnership with four Chinese energy companies and will be registered at the Shanghai Stock Exchange with a capital of CNY1bn ( $153.2m). US-based TerraPower, a company founded in 2006 with the support of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, has been working with CNNC on the development of TWRs since a memorandum of understanding was signed in September 2015 to develop a TWR jointly.

A TWR could use natural uranium, depleted uranium, used light-water reactor fuel, or thorium as reload fuel following its start-up.  According to TerraPower’s website, the travelling wave reactor (TWR) is a Generation IV, liquid sodium-cooled fast reactor based on existing fast reactor technologies.

According to a statement on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the project will be carried out in partnership with Huadian Fuxin Energy Limited Company (15%), Zhejiang Zheneng Electric Power Co Ltd (10%), Shenhua Group (30%) and Jointo Energy Investment Co Ltd Hebei (10%). CNNP will own 35% of the company.

CNNP Technology Investment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNNP, also plans to establish CNNP TWR Technology Investment (Tianjin) Co Ltd in partnership with the four investors. The new company, located in Tianjin, has a registered capital of CNY750m.

Photo: The travelling wave reactor (Courtesy Terrapower)