Why We Should Listen to Bill Gates on Nuclear Energy

Why We Should Listen to Bill Gates on Nuclear Energy

Bill Gates on Nuclear Energy

KELLY MCPHARLIN | klm@nei.org | February 4, 2019

As the founder of one of the world’s most recognized and successful companies, Bill Gates receives a lot of attention for what he says and does. When Bill Gates talks, people listen. And today, Bill Gates is talking about nuclear energy.

In his 2018 year-in-review blog post, Gates said: “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.” But to Bill Gates, nuclear energy is not just a technology that can help us meet climate change goals; it also can be used to reduce global poverty. Gates believes that if we are able to expand access to affordable and clean electricity, it would drastically improve living conditions for millions and would ultimately be a huge step in lifting those people out of poverty.

Gates has done more than just write about the benefits of nuclear energy. In 2006, he helped launch TerraPower LLC, a nuclear reactor design company that aims “to improve the world through nuclear energy and science.” In Gates’s view, investing in advanced nuclear technologycan help America regain its position as the global leader on nuclear energy while fighting poverty and driving worldwide decarbonization.

As important as Bill Gates’ voice is to the cause of promoting nuclear energy as a critical solution to solving complex global problems, he is hardly alone among technology entrepreneurs. The late Paul Allen, who was co-founder of Microsoft Corp. with Bill Gates, also championed the benefits of nuclear energy. And Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies and Founders Fund, wrote a New York Times op-ed arguing for adapting U.S. energy policy to support a new atomic age.

Thiel wrote: “If we are serious about replacing fossil fuels, we are going to need nuclear power, so the choice is stark: We can keep on merely talking about a carbon-free world, or we can go ahead and create one.”

Gates, Allen and Thiel are just a few names of our nation’s most technologically savvy business leaders who have invested in promoting the value of nuclear energy. And as more and more organizations and environmental groups stand behind carbon-free nuclear energy, the support for nuclear has never been so vast and varied.

Some of the smartest thinkers of our time are calling on us to see nuclear energy for its potential to change the world.

It’s time we listen.