Toshiba is in talks Terrapower, a company backed by Bill Gates, to jointly develop traveling wave nuclear reactors which are designed to use depleted uranium as fuel and could run for 60 years or more without refueling. (See http://www.greenbizcafe.com/?p=881 for a description of travelling wave reactors.)

Toshiba owns the Westinghouse Electric Company whose technology is the basis for about half of the world’s commercial nuclear reactors.

Toshiba is already developing its own mini nuclear reactors designed to operate continuously for 30 years and believes that 80 percent of the technologies used in the reactor under development can be applied to traveling-wave reactors.

Toshiba anticipates that commercialisation of traveling wave reactors could take about ten years.