ImpactAlpha, November 29 — NAAREA, short for Nuclear Abundant Affordable Resourceful Energy for All, is looking to raise €150 million to build a small nuclear reactor, about the size of a bus, that can be operated independently from electrical grids.
The vision: reactors that “produce power and heat as close as possible to industrial customers to relieve the grid,” said NAAREA’s Jean-Luc Alexandre.
Initial funding included €50 million ($55 million) from French family offices and €10 million ($11 million) from the French government. NARREA is looking to build a full-scale prototype to produce 40 megawatts of electricity, enough to power a car factory or large desalination plants, by 2028.
Interest is growing in small, modern reactors that promise safer, cheaper nuclear energy. Finland’s Steady Energy scored €2 million in seed funding in July to build modular reactors for low-carbon heating by 2030. There have also been setbacks. Last month, NuScale Power Corp., the first nuclear company in the US to get approval from the government for its small, modular reactor design, cited mounting costs for its canceled plans to build the first of six reactors in Utah.
Like their fission kin, fusion energy companies are aiming small to reduce costs and increase the safety and mobility of fusion reactor installations. Israel’s nT-Tao snagged $22 million in August to develop and test a compact fusion reactor. Seattle-based Avalanche Energy raised $40 million in April to build modular fusion micro-reactors small enough to fit on a desk, at a cost of tens of millions, not billions, of dollars.