Nuclear energy and the power stations that generate it have faced controversy over the decades. In a climate that is increasingly concerned about efficiency and eco-friendly alternatives, a makeover is on the way. Startups across the US and beyond are working hard to rebrand nuclear for the 2020s.
What Issues Are Facing Nuclear Energy?
Nuclear energy, various sources suggest, is efficient and low in carbon emissions. However, it is safety concerns that dog its widespread adoption. Despite this, nuclear is increasingly seen as a constant power source - without interruption.
It’s also considered incredibly cost-effective. Therefore, it makes sense that, in one way, nuclear is becoming more and more appealing. But what can be done to make it safer and friendlier to the public? Huge disasters such as Chernobyl and Three Mile Island are still raw in the memories of the powers that be.
Therefore, it’s down to startups to try and change the message - and the operation - for the better.
US Startups Working to Make Nuclear the Prime Choice
Nuclear energy startups are balancing the image problem as well as the considerable efficiency pros.
Commonwealth Fusion is a firm born out of MIT. Funded to at least $199 million, the company focuses on making nuclear virtually endless. This is thanks to their pioneering work with copper oxide. They’re helping to make nuclear fusion smarter by design.
Deep Isolation, meanwhile, focuses on the waste angle. Nuclear waste is, naturally, a big concern that is holding the energy back in public opinion. The company has developed a solution that can store waste for up to 11 years. This is a lucrative alternative to temporary storage available currently.
Elysium Industries, meanwhile, looks at the same issues from an alternative angle. Their molten chloride reactors actively convert waste into extra energy. Therefore, they have a system in place that could effectively recycle all off-product from the nuclear process. Their systems also strive to save money, in the long term, in a world where energy costs are continuously rising.
Flibe Energy, from Huntsville, also works to principles-based around molten salt. Over ten years of intensive research and design led to a safe, self-managing system that could cut waste.
Some clear themes and concerns run common to all of the above ventures. Nuclear waste is still the biggest concern of them all. Costs, too, remain a significant hurdle - however, nuclear does still have the potential to be amazingly cost-effective.
Is The Future Nuclear?
While many startups are working with renewable energy, nuclear remains hugely attractive. Should waste concerns that have dogged the technology for decades dissipate, companies may just revitalize it for a new generation. There is a world out there open to multiple different energy opportunities. Could nuclear work hand in hand with renewables?
Investors and third parties interested in learning more about more efficient, cost-effective energy production may find the next big venture online. Startups investing in cleaner, more responsible nuclear are available via Fundz and beyond.