London-based newcleo has raised €300 million in an equity funding round. The company is taking a new approach to nuclear energy extraction, one that it claims is ‘completely safe, clean, renewable and technologically accessible’ through its development of new generation nuclear reactors. Having already raised €100 million last August, the new capital will be used to further accelerate the company’s international growth plans.
I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you of the energy and climate crises happening right outside your window. The cost of energy is on the rise, and the fact that fossil fuels will eventually become obsolete is inevitable, say nothing for the damage they’ve done to the environment.
So what’s an energy-hungry planet to do? There have been significant advances in harnessing the power of the sun indeed, but there is an increasing focus on revisiting a source, perfect in theory, yet fraught with its, shall we say, colourful(?) history: nuclear energy.
For all its advantages, one of the downsides of the traditional nuclear fission process is the radioactive waste produced via spent uranium and plutonium, primary sources of fuel for ‘traditional’ nuclear reactors.
But what if we’ve been looking at the ‘problem’ the wrong way around the whole time and could swap out the fuel source? Enter stage left, newcleo.
Designing and building lead-cooled fast reactors, specifically fuelled by MOX, newcleo is aiming to perfect the nuclear technology we’ve all been promised for quite some time.
What the MOX?
Already in use in 10% of France's nuclear fleet, MOX is a Mixed Plutonium-Uranium Oxides fuel source, one that, as the name implies, consists of the depleted uranium and plutonium that have been historic troublemakers.
A portion of the new funding has been earmarked for feasibility studies to commence in conjunction with France-headquartered MOX producer, Orano.
Launched in September 2021, neocleo has already amassed a team of over 100, has opened a French subsidiary, and continues to grow the scientific and support teams in Turin, and has an ambitious target of employing approximately 500 by the end of 2023.