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UK Billionaire Richard Branson Urges Obama to Help Develop Fast Reactors via Nuclear Industry News

Along with the president of the American Nuclear Society, Virgin Records founder and serial entrepreneur Richard Branson is urging the Obama administration to fund research into integral fast reactors.

Branson is not the only billionaire promoting fast neutron reactors as a way to address climate change and climbing worldwide energy demand. Bill Gates is also backing and promoting a so-called standing wave reactor under the company TerraPower. As envisioned, it would run for years by breeding and immediately burning plutonium from a chain reaction within a core of depleted uranium that’s initially set off by a small amount of enriched uranium 235. As with other reactor concepts that breed fissionable isotopes, though, both Gates’ and Branson’s favored technologies face resistance in the US because of proliferation concerns regarding the plutonium and other elements they can create.

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