Nuclear startup raises millions in seed funding

22 June 2021

The German-Canadian nuclear startup Dual Fluid, founded in January 2021, has successfully completed its first investment round. The round was fully subscribed as planned. Private investors raised almost seven million Canadian dollars.

With the funds raised, the nuclear startup plans to increase its staff and build its own premises in order to propel the development of the novel dual fluid reactor to series production maturity. This includes building up laboratory capacity as well as collaborating with renowned research institutes to develop an initial safety analysis in accordance with international regulatory standards. In this context, very rarely occurring operating conditions are investigated in detail using mathematical models. The findings will be used for the upcoming licensing procedure. 

CEO Götz Ruprecht says: “Our physical simulation calculations have already shown that the dual fluid reactor is feasible and inherently safe. Now we focus on preparing the licensing process and starting the practical work.”

Part of the overall concept is a nuclear recycling plant that can efficiently separate nuclear waste by type. In combination with the dual fluid reactor, this will make a geological repository obsolete. 

The next investment round is to be in one and a half to two years’ time and will also address institutional investors.

Dual Fluid is described as an inherently safe nuclear reactor that is ten times more efficient than today's pressurised water reactors. It is patent-protected worldwide. 

As a fast reactor, the Dual Fluid reactor can use any fissile material: uranium, thorium or processed nuclear waste. The remaining fission products decay after only a few hundred years. Due to its high operating temperatures, a larger dual fluid power plant can produce synthetic fuels at competitive prices. 

The dual fluid reactor (DFR) is a reactor concept of a private German research institute, the Institute for Solid-State Nuclear Physics. It combines the characteristics of a molten salt reactor with those of a liquid metal cooled reactor, and as such is said to meet the criteria for reactors of the Generation IV International Forum. The fuel is a molten solution of actinide salts, a group that includes uranium, thorium and plutonium, while the cooling is provided by molten lead in a separate loop. Due to the high thermal conductivity of the molten metal, the DFR is an inherently safe reactor – the decay heat can be removed passively. 

If the reactor works as intended, the U-238 of a spent nuclear fuel element -about 1 ton in weight - could be completely dissolved in Cl-salt, including the problematic long-living transuranic parts. Complete breeding and fission could power a 1 GW thermal DFR for about 2.5 years. After that time the element would be completely converted into fission products and the need for storage in a final deposition for nuclear waste would be reduced from 1 million to about 300 years.

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