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Bill Gates Teams With China on New Nuclear Reactor

Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has teamed with China to jointly develop a new type of nuclear reactor, which would be better for the environment and reduce the need for uranium enrichment and reprocessing.

Gates says the traveling wave reactor technology is low-cost, very safe and will generate little waste. He spoke at a news conference Wednesday in Beijing following talks with officials from the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Gates says about $1 billion will be put into the project over the next five years.

The reactor is being developed through TerraPower, a company co-founded by Gates, and the state-owned China National Nuclear Cooperation.

The company says that once produced, the Generation Four reactor will offer a "zero-emission, proliferation-resistant energy." It says it would run on depleted uranium, currently a waste byproduct of the enrichment process.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.