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Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan sits down with Bill Gates for an exclusive interview

(CBS, KYMA/KECY) - Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft, spoke with Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan about nuclear energy after he and his company, TerraPower, broke ground on a nuclear power plant in Kemmerer, Wyoming last week.

Brennan and Gates talked about getting rid of all emissions by 2050, to which Gates said, "The growth will be in the clean sources: sun, wind, and nuclear. But we won't get there to be 100% green, you know, the goal is to get rid of all emissions by 2050. Even that's pretty ambitious...All of the clean sources will have to do a great job of getting their costs down."

Talks then came to people reacting against nuclear energy due to accidents, such as Chernobyl, and how Gates would respond to them, and Gates said:

"Those accidents were both first generation, second generation reactors. The third generation reactors dealt with that with a lot of complexity. So those reactors are quite safe. But the cost overruns meant that the electricity will be very, very expensive. We solved the safety problem with a much simpler approach. But we have to start from scratch. And so we've used computer simulation and talked to the regulators. simplicity in this case, is is very beneficial. But you know, we're an innovation company, you know, we're the ones who are, together with the government taking the risk here. And, you know, we're quite confident that, you know, this will inaugurate a new generation, where you won't have these huge electricity costs."

During the interview, Brennan and Gates talked about bipartisan support for nuclear energy, and whether Gates was confident in continuing his project regardless of the outcome of the 2024 presidential election.

"Yes, I'm quite confident. I mean...I meet with lots of Republicans, I meet with lots of Democrats. I'd say that their support for nuclear power is very impressive in both parties. The reasons they support nuclear power may not be identical. The Republicans may emphasize the security issues, you know, energy security, exporting these power things to the entire world. The Democrats value those things, but they also value that it's a clean source of energy. And that it's because it's not weather-dependent, it can fill in in the periods where the renewables are-are not producing. And so of all the climate-related work I'm doing, I'd say the one that has the most bipartisan energy behind it is actually this nuclear work."

Bill Gates

To watch Brennan's full interview with Gates, click here.

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