US billionaire Bill Gates has been elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), as lists of newly-elected academics were published on Nov 27.
The Microsoft co-founder, 62, is one of 18 new foreign members, nominated for his work as chairman of TerraPower, a nuclear reactor design company he helped establish in 2008.
Recent years have seen Gates become a frequent visitor to China, mainly to promote the fourth-generation nuclear power technology –– the traveling-wave reactor, which TerraPower is working on.
So far, the company has cooperated with China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) to establish a joint R&D venture on traveling-wave reactors. It aims to carry out the construction and operation of commercial traveling-wave reactors of various sizes over the next 20 years and increase the economic value of the reactors.
As one of the richest people in the world, Gates once claimed to have three wishes –– that everyone would own a computer with Microsoft Windows, that AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria could be cured, and that every human being could have equal access to healthcare, and finally, that the world’s poor could have access to clean energy.
Gates chose the traveling-wave reactor after evaluating all theoretically and physically existing nuclear technologies in 2006 and established TerraPower to further develop the technology.