300 milioni di aumento di capitale per newcleo, la startup del nucleare sostenibile

June 30, 2022
For Stefano Buono's startup, born in Turin and based in London, this is the second round in just nine months.

newcleo, the clean and safe nuclear technology company born in Turin and based in London, developing innovative Generation IV reactors, announces the successful close of its € 300 million equity raise, launched at its first AGM in March this year. The equity raise, which gathered interest in excess of the available amount, was completed in two months.

The resolution of the new round follows only a few months after the previous round closed in September 2021, when the scaleup raised $ 118 million in a capital increase, in which the Club degli InvestitoriLIFTT (a startup investment vehicle created by the public-private alliance between the nato dall’alleanza pubblico-privata tra Politecnico di Torino and Compagnia di San Paolo, attraverso la Links Foundationand Exor Seeds. Circa due terzi degli investitori già presenti nel round di finanziamento iniziale di 100 milioni di euro nel 2021 hanno scelto di investire ulteriormente, in una forte dimostrazione di fiducia.

I fondi raccolti serviranno ad accelerare la crescita complessiva di newcleo e la sua espansione strategica nella produzione di combustibile nucleare per i reattori di nuova generazione a partire dalle scorie prodotte dai reattori tradizionali.

L’azienda ha recentemente aperto la sua filiale francese newcleo SA, expanding its international footprint. La Francia è un mercato strategicamente importante e la presenza di newcleo arriva in un momento chiave, with the French government recently defining the country’s energy policy to extend the life of existing reactors and build new ones. L’obiettivo immediato di newcleo SA è quello di lavorare per la creazione di un impianto di produzione di ossidi misti di plutonio e uranio (MOX) e newcleo sta stipulando un contratto con Orano, una multinazionale del ciclo del combustibile nucleare con sede in Francia, per gli studi di fattibilità. Sono inoltre in corso conversazioni con altri importanti operatori francesi del settore del combustibile nucleare.

MOX, a nuclear fuel already approved for use in fast nuclear reactors in France, consists of depleted uranium (a by-product of the enrichment process of traditional reactors, for which there is no use but significant disposal costs), and plutonium. L’uso del MOX nei reattori newcleo sarà un ulteriore passo avanti verso un approccio competitivo in termini di costi e pienamente sostenibile: diminuirà il costo ambientale e finanziario dello smaltimento di tali rifiuti radioattivi a lunga vita, ridurrà il rischio di proliferazione ed eviterà completamente la necessità di estrarre nuovo combustibile nucleare.

La produzione su scala industriale di MOX garantirà il futuro approvvigionamento di combustibile necessario per il funzionamento dei primi prototipi da 30 MWe di newcleo in Francia e nel Regno Unito e della successiva flotta che verrà impiegata in entrambi i Paesi. Newcleo fornirà un modo efficiente e sicuro per gestire in modo sostenibile le scorie nucleari esistenti e quelle nuove, riducendo notevolmente l’impronta dello stoccaggio finale in un momento in cui i piani di produzione di energia nucleare vengono rafforzati.

In the last three months, newcleo ha continuato la sua impressionante traiettoria di crescita anche in termini di assunzioni, superando ormai abbondantemente i 100 dipendenti. In the UK, the company is expanding its project management and technical functions and similarly in France, where several nuclear fuel experts with strong track records are already on board at the Lyon office. In Italy, the scientific and support teams are also growing steadily in Turin. The overall headcount target is set at around 500 employees by the end of 2023.

Finally, in Italy, the ENEA partnership is progressing well towards the building of the non-nuclear reactor prototype for testing and licensing purposes. The joint research work is on track, and construction work is now underway for the laboratory halls refurbishment, and the experimental validation activity is due to start later this year as expected.

Stefano Buono, newcleo Chairman and CEO, commented: “newcleo is moving fast to address the pressing need for clean and sustainable energy. The recent geopolitical developments have undeniably reinforced the importance of nuclear in ensuring global energy security and the necessary step change in decarbonisation efforts. The momentum is strong and the capital market’s appetite is evident. This is the right moment to change the paradigm of nuclear energy towards a new technology, that can efficiently address the major concerns of our industry – costs, safety and waste – in a sustainable wayWe look forward to pressing ahead with our clear priorities in the second half of 2022 and securing the right sites in France and the UK for both our prototype reactors and our MOX manufacturing facilities. I warmly thank all our investors who have put their confidence in newcleo, as well as all of our employees and partners. This raise is the latest step to deliver our vision for the future of nuclear energy. newcleo’s Board, our leadership team and I are confident and engaged in delivery".

(Source: newcleo Press Release)

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Luca Coppolella
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