Does Bill Gates’ Nuclear Power Company TerraPower Have Stock?

Mohit Oberoi, CFA - Author
By

Jul. 11 2022, Published 8:39 a.m. ET

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has invested in several ventures around the world. He has also invested in a nuclear power company called TerraPower, which plans to build its first plant in Wyoming. Does TerraPower have stock and can you invest in the company?

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Several of Gates’ ventures have been shrouded in controversy — for example, he purchased farmlands and backed GM food. Elon Musk even doubted his commitment to clean energy and pointed out that Gates is short on Tesla stock. Many have been critical of TerraPower for choosing Kemmerer, Wyo. as the location for its first reactor.

Gates helped launch TerraPower and is the company’s chairman.

According to TerraPower, Gates helped form the company in 2006 and is the company’s chairman. The company is proposing to build a $4 billion nuclear reactor in Kemmerer. The plant, which would be equally funded by the U.S. government and TerraPower, expects to become operational by 2028 and would be run by a Berkshire Hathaway-owned company.

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TerraPower doesn't have stock yet.

TerraPower doesn't have stock yet. The company is working on advanced nuclear reactors and creating clean energy. Several clean energy companies went public between 2020 and 2021, thanks to the massive investor appetite for renewable energy companies after Joe Biden’s election as the U.S. president.

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TerraPower has chosen to remain private for now. The company is still in the pre-revenue stage as it works towards its first reactor. Market sentiments toward loss-making pre-revenue companies have nosedived and even the companies that listed over the last two years now trade way below their listing prices.

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You can't invest in TerraPower stock directly.

TerraPower might not IPO anytime soon looking at the market sentiments. Investors can't invest directly in TerraPower. However, in 2020, TerraPower announced that it would partner with Centrus Energy “to establish commercial-scale, domestic production capabilities for high-assay, low-enriched uranium (HALEU), which will be needed to fuel many next-generation reactor.”

The partnership is also for the Natrium design that TerraPower has designed with GE-Hitachi and would be used in the Wyoming reactor. Meanwhile, there are concerns over volcanic hazards for the Natrium design.

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The NRC is holding a public meeting for volcanic hazards for Natrium design.

The U.S. NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) is holding a public meeting on July 12. The purpose of the teleconference “is for TerraPower to present to the NRC staff the guidance they plan to use for Volcanic Hazards for the Natrium Design.” Social media users are divided on the volcanic hazards of the design.

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Nuclear energy is "clean."

Some people have been opposed to nuclear energy in principle. However, nuclear energy can help support the pivot from fossil fuels. As the world transitions towards electric cars, electricity demand is bound to increase and nuclear power can step in to meet the surplus needs, along with other renewable sources like wind and solar.

There's opposition to nuclear power across the globe. Germany shut its nuclear power plants and now finds itself over-reliant on Russia for its energy needs. There have been protests against nuclear power in countries like India also.

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There have been discussions about whether nuclear energy is indeed a clean and green source of energy even as the U.S. Department of Energy lists it as a source of clean energy. Europe has listed nuclear energy as "clean" as the continent tries to wean itself from Russian fossil fuels.

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