Currently there are two major and related issues facing nuclear energy – cost and safety. The current industry is safe… but is un-affordably expensive as a result.
Moltex Energy has patented technology they believe provides game-changing solutions for both, removing the risks entirely and massively reducing the costs of nuclear energy.
Founded in 2014 as a disruptive outsider to the slow-moving nuclear industry, Moltex’s focus is on driving down the costs of nuclear energy to below the cost of generating electricity from fossil fuels, thereby effectively making oil and coal worthless.
What makes this huge ambition realistic is their fully patented and protected technology, the Stable Salt Reactor or SSR - fundamentally the first new nuclear technology in half a century.
The technology uses a novel molten salt-based fuel and coolant. The system is unpressurised and therefore cannot blow up, and the reaction slows down as temperature increases, so it can’t melt down. The net effect is to massively simplify the engineering, thereby reducing the build and operational costs substantially.
This allows the entire nuclear part of the power plant to be less than 1/20th the size of an equal power conventional reactor, with a commensurate saving in cost; meaning plants can be built for half the cost of the coal-fired equivalent.
Moltex can also provide a solution to today’s stockpile of spent nuclear fuel, by converting it into fuel for the SSR, transforming a 300,000-year radioactive storage challenge into a manageable 300-year challenge.
The technology is safe, cost-effective and solves the key problems that up until this point, have prevented nuclear energy from realising its true potential.
More importantly, Moltex believes its SSR is the step-change needed to largely replace our need for fossil fuels, thereby decarbonising our future.
In just 4 years and with initial funding of just £2m, Moltex has moved from the fringe of the nuclear field to the centre of hopes for the future of that industry. In the last year the company’s potential has been recognised by being:
- The only grid scale advanced nuclear technology vendor selected by the UK government from an international field in its Advanced Modular Reactor competition, with an immediate grant of £300k leading to a further grant in one year of up to £10m.
- Selected by New Brunswick Power as one of just two vendors (from a field of 90 international candidates) to build the first advanced reactor in Canada at their nuclear plant at Point Lepreau, with an initial grant to Moltex of $5m.
- Given a $3.5m award by the US Dept of Energy ARPA-E “Trailblazing Nuclear Energy Reinvigoration” program – the only non-US organisation to be given such an award.
Moltex believes it holds the keys to making nuclear energy safe, cost-effective and viable. They believe their technology could very well hold the key to replacing fossil fuels and having a meaningful impact on climate change.