Ed Driscoll

From the Man Who Brought You Windows Me

“Bill Gates Talking With China To Develop Nuclear Reactor” — If “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” are the nine scariest words in the English language, surely this headline from CBS’s Seattle affiliate must rank second:

Gates said he had largely funded a Washington state-based company, TerraPower, that is developing a Generation IV nuclear reactor that can run on depleted uranium. TerraPower says it has discussed its plans with India, Russia and other countries with nuclear energy programs.The general manager of state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation, Sun Qin, was quoted in Chinese media last week saying Gates was working with it to research and develop a reactor.

“TerraPower is having very good discussions with CNNC and various people in the Chinese government,” said Gates, cautioning the talks were at an early stage.

Gates says perhaps as much as a billion dollars will be put into research and development over the next five years.

TerraPower says its traveling wave reactor would run for decades on depleted uranium and produce significantly smaller amounts of nuclear waste than conventional reactors.

“All these new designs are going to be incredibly safe,” Gates told the audience. “They require no human action to remain safe at all times.”

What could go wrong? Unless this is a reverse Manchurian Candidate operation — perhaps Gates has read Mark Steyn’s After America and is prepared to do his part in throwing a monkey wrench — or a Microsoft OS — into China’s plans for global conquest. If anybody can do it, it’s Bill Gates.