by Robert Macready. 2011. Any new business venture gains a little bit of clout when Bill Gates gets on board. Washington-based company TerraPower is developing a new form of nuclear power, and their efforts have attracted the investment of the billionaire Microsoft founder. The experimental nuclear technology that TerraPower is pursuing, called the traveling wave reactor, was first proposed in the 1950s, but has seen little in the way of research or development in the decades since.