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newcleo Could Present A Unique Opportunity To Invest In Circular Next-Generation Nuclear

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By Faith Ashmore, Benzinga

As the world’s fight to mitigate climate change continues, the demand for nuclear energy is rising. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, nuclear energy could contribute up to 12% of all global electricity by 2050. This number is up from the projected figure last year of 11%, and the verified data from 2020 of 10%.

Additionally, governments are growing increasingly optimistic that nuclear power can help to meet net zero obligations. Most recently, UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt revealed that nuclear energy will be classified as “environmentally sustainable” and given the same investment incentives as renewable energy, subject to consultation. He went on to note that “the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine . . . we will need another critical source of cheap, reliable energy and that is nuclear.”

It is clear that nuclear energy isn’t going anywhere; there are 32 operational nuclear countries looking at asset extension or building new nuclear – and 30 are considering its introduction. In some European countries, like France which boasts over 50% of nuclear power in total domestic electricity generation, nuclear energy development is crucial.

A London-based nuclear energy company, newcleo, is working hard to innovate the nuclear field and is creating a safe method for nuclear waste to fuel nuclear energy. The company is designing and building a Generation IV nuclear reactor to leverage the benefits of nuclear waste and in turn, maximize the full lifecycle of uranium. Their reactor is a lead-cooled fast reactor (LFR) fuelled with MOX (mixed Plutonium - Uranium Oxides). The reactor turns existing waste from plutonium, uranium, and other radioactive materials into clean energy without needing to mine or extract new resources.

The company’s design uses the benefits of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and has quickly received the attention of investors. Already, the company has completed two successful capital raises, raising a total of $400 million in a strong show of confidence from investors. It has gained international support and has recently launched an equity raise of up to €1 billion to fund the further development of its innovative lead-cooled fast nuclear reactors (LFRs) and its plants to manufacture fuel from nuclear waste.

newcleo has been preparing for this launch by creating strategic commercial collaborations and partnerships with more than 30 key nuclear players in the industry across France, Italy, and the UK. In Italy, the company has partnerships with ENEA and ENEL, which has granted the company access to the largest renewable private player globally. Both ENEA and ENEL have committed to working with newcleo on their projects and investing in the first nuclear plant. In France, newcleo is working on gaining public funding and taking the initial steps toward regulatory approvals for its first production plant.

The company reports that the new equity will fund the further development of newcleo’s innovative lead-cooled fast nuclear reactors (LFRs) and its plants to manufacture fuel from nuclear waste, specifically the establishment of the first MOX production plant in France and plans for a plant to follow in the UK. The company’s fast reactor technology is what allows reactors to use MOX as fuel and extract energy from it, reducing existing waste volume. Not only does this process create energy and reduce waste, but it also supports energy independence for domestic economies.

The use of MOX is a nuclear fuel already approved for use in fast nuclear reactors in France consisting of depleted uranium which is a by-product of the enrichment process of traditional reactors, for which there is no use but significant disposal costs, and plutonium. The implementation of MOX in newcleo’s reactors takes an additional step towards their cost-competitive, fully sustainable approach while decreasing the environmental and financial cost of disposing of long-living radioactive waste and reducing the need to mine for new nuclear fuel.

Stefano Buono, newcleo Chairman and CEO, shared:newcleo offers a safe circular solution in Gen-IV nuclear, combined with an advanced, mature reactor technology that meets the rising demand for electricity and addresses the challenges of decarbonisation and energy security. Our ability to design, build and operate modular reactors with a closed fuel cycle through the use of MOX sets us apart and makes us not only a truly environmentally responsible solution, but also a compelling proposition for investors.”

Since France has already approved MOX in fast nuclear reactors, the company is looking to establish its first plant in that country. Not to mention, France uses around 69% nuclear power for its total domestic electricity generation and has a history of supporting nuclear projects. A plant in the UK is planned to follow soon after.

newcleo currently has a diverse team of more than 200 employees and is led by an experienced senior team with a combined 300+ years worth of experience in the nuclear energy sector working across engineering, construction, and installation of fast reactors. The company is expected to grow to 500 employees by 2023 across its UK, France and Italy operations.

Between the company’s raises, innovative technology, strategic partnerships, and the growing need for new zero-energy systems, newcleo looks to have the tools to drive the long-term sustainable success of the company and is garnering attention as an investment opportunity.

Featured photo by Federico Beccari on Unsplash

Privately funded and headquartered in London, newcleo was launched in 2021 – and since raised a total of EUR 400m – to be an innovator in the field of nuclear energy. Its mission is to generate safe, clean, economic and practically inexhaustible energy for the world, through a radically innovative combination of existing, accessible technologies.

With visionary co-founders, newcleo capitalises on thirty years of R&D activity in metal-cooled fast reactors and liquid-lead cooling systems, and our senior management and advisory team can boast hundreds of years in cumulative hands-on experience. The company can count newcleo’s technology, mostly comprising a novel approach to already qualified solutions, addresses equally well the three challenges affecting the nuclear industry to date: waste, safety and cost.

Waste: fast reactors are capable of efficient “burning” (i.e., fission) of depleted uranium, plutonium and Minor Actinides. When operated with MOX fuel generated from reprocessed nuclear waste, newcleo’s reactors not only ensure sustainability by closing the fuel cycle, but can also boost energy independence.

Safety: lead-cooled reactors operate at atmospheric pressure. The properties of lead (thermal capacity and conductivity, boiling point, chemically inert, low neutron activation, shielding properties) together with newcleo’s passive safety systems ensure very high levels of safety

Cost: newcleo’s reactor design has been optimised over the last 20 years leading to the concept of an ultra-compact and transportable 200MWe module with improvements in energy density compared to other technologies. Costs are kept low by means of simplicity, compactness, modularity, atmospheric pressure operation and elevated output temperature.

newcleo is also working to significantly invest in MOX fuel manufacturing in developed countries, extracting energy from the current nuclear industry by-products.

newcleo is ready to develop a new, sustainable, and completely safe way of generating nuclear energy that will help humanity reach zero emissions, and mitigate of global warming.

This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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