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25 Most Innovative Startups in the Nuclear Energy Space

Climate change is accelerating faster than we anticipated—and there’s nothing slowing it down. In 2017, carbon emissions hit a record high, equaling the amount that would take us beyond the Paris Agreement’s two-degree [2°C] limit outlined by the United Nations. In turn, the urgent need to add alternative sources of power, like nuclear, has never been clearer.

As the current nuclear industry works to contend with decades of stagnation and controversial events, new startups are riding on the trend to reshape the landscape.

More than a half century has passed since the first nuclear energy plant opened in October 1957. Yet despite its long timeline, nuclear power remains one of the fastest growing power sources available. New startups are carving out new roles for themselves in an industry that is slowing falling apart.

To say the nuclear sector is risk-averse to technology is an understatement. We must also address the macro and micro risks within this space and how these risks can be mitigated. The macro risk comes from the fact that the established industry is coming up against an increasing number of new contenders and slowing innovation in the sector. As a result, startups have an opportunity to disrupt this space if they are able to challenge old ways of doing things.

On the other hand, the micro risk lies in limiting what these startups can do, which ultimately comes down to access to capital.

Do new players in the field have the necessary funding that they need to succeed in the nuclear space?

A closer look at the industry and what its needs are will help determine which risk is a greater threat to the space and what it will take to mitigate the risk.

The Challenges the Nuclear Industry Faced in 2020:

The non-state industry has faced years of challenges that have resulted in additional risk, particularly in the form of increased debt, lack of capital, investor uncertainty, and limited R&D.

At the turn of the 21st century, the nuclear sector was in the driver’s seat. Fast-forward to 2020, however, and the industry has been forced to address a massive debt burden—and slowing demand growth—to revamp its business model.

The global total debt reached $3.6 trillion in 2020 (20 percent of total market capitalization), which consisted largely of debt obtained year after year to finance the cost of operations, maintenance, and start-up and development expenses. The accelerated construction rate of nuclear power facilities since 2010 resulted in more construction projects than could be supported, especially without sufficient demand to support them all.

In fact, while many of these newly constructed facilities were being developed, demand for nuclear power was waning globally. Since 2008, annual global nuclear capacity additions dropped from 10 GW (gigawatts) a year to as little as 4 GW, and the average annual growth rate has dropped from 6 percent to as little as 2 percent, according to the World Energy Council. The existing demand for nuclear power was also affected by state energy companies’ financial performance, which resulted in a reduced investment in nuclear power construction.

This was not the only problem facing state-owned and private nuclear power companies. Both groups also had to contend with aging facilities that could take more than 50 years to decommission, including reactors that were built in the 1990s and early 2000s and would have a high probability of failure in the next decade.

While the nuclear power sector was facing a number of challenges, so were its customers. That didn’t stop the growth of many startups in this space. Here are our 25 favourites:


1. CORE-POWER (UK) Ltd

The idea behind this startup: Atomic batteries’ based on the Molten Salt Reactor – a game changer for ocean transportation

Headquarters: London, England, United Kingdom

Industries: Clean Energy, Industrial Engineering, Marine Technology, Marine Transportation, Nuclear, Shipping

Founders: Mikal Boe

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2. Zap Energy

The idea behind this startup: Zap Energy has developed a compact solution to the fusion of energy without complex and costly magnetic coils.

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, United States

Industries: Energy, Nuclear, Renewable Energy

Founders: Benj Conway, Brian Nelson, Uri Shumlak

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3. Deep Isolation

The idea behind this startup: Innovative startup with an equitable and environmentally protective solution for nuclear waste storage or disposal, a $500B untapped market.

Headquarters: Berkeley, California, United States

Industries: Clean Energy, Environmental Engineering, Impact Investing, Nuclear, Renewable Energy, Risk Management

Founders: Elizabeth Muller, Richard Muller

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4. USNC

The idea behind this startup: USNC specializes in the fields of nuclear power, small modular reactors, space reactors, and advanced reactors.

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, United States

Industries: Energy, Industrial Engineering, Nuclear, Renewable Energy

Founders: Unknown

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5. Oklo

The idea behind this startup: Oklo is building an always on, container-sized, truly carbon-free and emission-free nuclear generator.

Headquarters: Sunnyvale, California, United States

Industries: Clean Energy, Energy, Nuclear, Renewable Energy

Founders: Caroline Cochran, Jacob DeWitte

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6. Last Energy

The idea behind this startup: Last Energy is an organization for nuclear research that has spun off Energy Impact Center.

Headquarters: Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Industries: Clean Energy, Energy Management, Nuclear, Renewable Energy, Sustainability

Founders: Unknown

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7. Moltex Energy

The idea behind this startup: Moltex Energy is developing a next generation nuclear reactor that can produce clean electricity

Headquarters: London, England, United Kingdom

Industries: Energy, Energy Efficiency, Nuclear, Renewable Energy

Founders: Ian Scott, John Durham

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8. LeadCold

The idea behind this startup: LeadCold is a designer of a small reactor to create a reliable/safe production of power for various sites.

Headquarters: Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden

Industries: Clean Energy, Nuclear, Recycling

Founders: Janne Wallenius

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9. Atlas Energy Systems

The idea behind this startup: Atlas Energy Systems is an energy technology company commercializing the direct heat-to-energy science of Thermionics.

Headquarters: Romeoville, Illinois, United States

Industries: Energy, Nuclear, Oil and Gas, Renewable Energy

Founders: Ian Hamilton

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10. Huntington Ingalls Industries

The idea behind this startup: Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. (HII) owns and operates two segments: Ingalls Shipbuilding and Newport News Shipbuilding.

Headquarters: Newport News, Virginia, United States

Industries: Aerospace, National Security, Nuclear

Founders: Robert Ingersoll Ingalls Sr.

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11. Orbita Capital Partners

The idea behind this startup: Orbita Capital is an asset management firm that generates returns and manages risk in equity markets.

Headquarters: Moscow, Moscow City, Russian Federation

Industries: Artificial Intelligence, Energy, Information Technology, Internet of Things, Nuclear, Robotics, Smart Cities

Founders: Eugeny Kuznetsov

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12. Aachen Institute for Nuclear Training

The idea behind this startup: AiNT is the development and maintenance of competence in the field of nuclear engineering such as science, technology and medicine.

Headquarters: Stolberg, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

Industries: Industrial Engineering, Nuclear

Founders: Unknown

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13. Crypto Farm

The idea behind this startup: IaaS Design & Ops.

Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Industries: Advanced Materials, Blockchain, Energy, FinTech, Nuclear

Founders: Unknown

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14. Holotron Technologies

The idea behind this startup: Holotron uses full-body force feedback to control humanoid robots and virtual avatars for unprecedented control and immersion.

Headquarters: London, England, United Kingdom

Industries: Human Computer Interaction, Industrial Manufacturing, Information Technology, Medical Device, Nuclear, Robotics, Virtual Reality

Founders: Unknown

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15. Human Design Group

The idea behind this startup: Human Design provides consulting, services and developments in ergonomics, human factors and user experience (UX).

Headquarters: Saint-aubin, Franche-Comte, France

Industries: Aerospace, Automotive, Information Technology, Military, Nuclear, Product Research, Service Industry, Transportation

Founders: Dominique Soler

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16. ROSATOM

The idea behind this startup: ROSATOM is the Russian Federation national nuclear corporation bringing together circa 400 nuclear companies and R&D institutions.

Headquarters: Moscow, Moscow City, Russian Federation

Industries: Information Technology, Nuclear, Training

Founders: Vladimir Putin

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17. Audiit

The idea behind this startup: SaaS, Project Performance Management

Headquarters: Markham, Ontario, Canada

Industries: Construction, Infrastructure, Mining Technology, Nuclear, Project Management, SaaS, Software

Founders: Vladimir Urbanovich

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18. Advanced Nuclear Medicine Ingredients

The idea behind this startup: ANMI SA develops radiometals labeled radiopharmaceuticals and a global service provider in the radiopharmaceutical field.

Headquarters: Liège, Liege, Belgium

Industries: Nuclear, Pharmaceutical

Founders: Unknown

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19. Suracsh Filters

The idea behind this startup: Suracsh brings innovative solutions in nuclear, biological and chemical filtration.

Headquarters: Cochin, Kerala, India

Industries: Nuclear, Security

Founders: Unknown

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20. R-NOX

The idea behind this startup: R-NOX is a group that follows one goal: to create platform and database that will increase awareness to environmental pollution in Cities.

Headquarters: Vilnius, Vilniaus Apskritis, Lithuania

Industries: Chemical, GreenTech, Manufacturing, Medical, Nuclear

Founders: Unknown

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21. China Nuclear Engineering

The idea behind this startup: China Nuclear Engineering Corporation Limited provides nuclear projects construction services.

Headquarters: Beijing, Beijing, China

Industries: Mechanical Engineering, Military, Nuclear

Founders: Unknown

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22. Project Execution Services LLC

The idea behind this startup: Project Execution Services LLC is a service provider assisting businesses throughout the United States and the world.

Headquarters: Mount Vernon, New York, United States

Industries: Nuclear, Project Management, Service Industry, Staffing Agency

Founders: Daniel Erskine

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23. GreenTec-99

The idea behind this startup: GreenTec-99 is a company that produces nuclear radioisotope.

Headquarters: Huntsville, Alabama, United States

Industries: Military, National Security, Nuclear

Founders: Unknown

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24. RADIO PROTECT

The idea behind this startup: Radio-Protect est un bureau d’étude de radioprotection spécialisé dans le domaine médical et industriel.

Headquarters: Unknown

Industries: Aerospace, Medical Device, Nuclear

Founders: Unknown

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25. Quantum_AI Atomics

The idea behind this startup: Nuclear Safety Solutions, Nuclear Reactor Solution & Services, Nuclear Solutions

Headquarters: Unknown

Industries: Fuel, Nuclear, Public Safety

Founders: Ranobijoy Bhattacharya

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