Newcleo Raises €87M for Lead-Cooled Small Modular Reactors

Newcleo Raises €87M for Lead-Cooled Small Modular Reactors

Mateo Rodriguez
1 min read

Europe's Nuclear Startup Newcleo Raises €87M in Fundraising Round

Nuclear startup Newcleo has successfully raised €87 million in the first close of its planned €1 billion fundraising round. The UK-based company, known for its development of lead-cooled small modular reactors fueled by radioactive waste, has garnered attention by securing a total of €487 million in just three years since its inception. Notable existing backers include Exor Ventures and the Agnelli family office. The fresh funds are earmarked for advancing technology, expanding production capacity in France, and establishing a research facility in Italy. However, substantial challenges loom ahead as the company endeavors to raise the billions required to fully implement its ambitious plans, particularly against the backdrop of a constrained fundraising landscape and waning investment in European nuclear startups. Newcleo has set a target to introduce its inaugural revenue-generating commercial reactor by 2033.

Key Takeaways

  • Newcleo secures a significant €87 million in the initial phase of its €1 billion fundraising round.
  • The UK-based company is focused on the development of lead-cooled small modular reactors (SMRs) utilizing radioactive waste.
  • Expansion plans encompass enhancing production capacity in France and establishing a research facility in Italy.
  • The company is aiming to have a demonstration reactor ready by 2030, with commercial reactors set to launch by 2033.
  • While European nuclear startups witnessed a downturn with total investments amounting to $178 million in 2023, Newcleo stands out as the best-funded player in the region.

Did You Know?

  • Small Modular Reactors (SMRs): These nuclear reactors are smaller in size and output compared to traditional plants. They are designed for factory construction and subsequent transport to the assembly site, making them more scalable, cost-effective, and secure than conventional reactors. SMRs find application in power generation, heating, and desalination.
  • Lead-Cooled Reactors: This type of nuclear reactor uses lead as a coolant instead of water, enabling operation at higher temperatures and pressures due to lead's higher boiling point. The compactness and increased efficiency of these reactors are attributed to lead's density compared to water-cooled reactors.
  • Radioactive Waste: The byproduct of nuclear reactions that produce energy, radioactive waste poses challenges due to its high toxicity, radioactivity, and longevity. Newcleo's innovative approach involves recycling radioactive waste as fuel for its lead-cooled SMRs, addressing waste reduction and clean energy production simultaneously.

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