It is reported that SK Inc and SK Innovation, a subsidiary of the SK Group, the second largest Korean conglomerate, invested $250 million in the American nuclear innovation company TerraPower.
The TerraPower Natrium Nuclear Reactor project on salt melts as heat carriers and batteries was one of two promising projects supported by the American Federal Advanced Reactor Demonstration Programme .The Natrium Reactor on Rapid Nutrons with a capacity of 345 MWe and a 500 MWe melted salt buffer system is planned to be built in the city of Kemmerer in Wyoming.
Participation in the ARDP programme suggests that TerraPower will raise at least 50% of the amount of investment required for the pilot project. Negotiations with the SK Group on this topic have been under way since the beginning of the year. It was expected that the Korean Conglomerate subsidiaries would buy 10% of the TerraPower stock.
Korea's company has something to offer in terms of technology: there is also interest in both the reactor itself and its derivatives; for example, Korean companies are interested in new isotopes to develop drugs for cancer; small modular reactors, such as the TerraPower Natalium reactor, are also interested in Koreans as a source of clean and relatively low-cost electricity; Koreans are willing to replicate the project in South-East Asia and not only.
Skeptics warn that small modular reactors can eventually produce 35 times more radioactive waste than conventional waste, but the world needs very little access to electricity and alternatives.