Microsoft (NASDAQMSFT) founder Bill Gates is investing in a start-up company aiming to use nuclear bi-products to generate nuclear energy.

Washington-based Terra Power believes it has found a way of turning nuclear fuel into affordable low-carbon electricity.

The company is developing an innovative technology known as the travelling wave reactor, or TWR, which runs on depleted uranium, a byproduct of today’s water-cooled reactors, according to the FT.

A wave reaction burns depleted uranium very slowly with no need to refuel for 40 years. Conventional reactors require refuelling every two years.

It is expected that governments will be the first to take on the technology, as utilities are unlikely to invest until it is proven.

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