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This Startup is Using Salt to Create an Alternative to Nuclear Energy





Creating alternative energy sources is certainly an important task. But it’s not necessarily one that’s going to be popular with investors, given the experimental nature and length of time such a project is likely to take.

Transatomic Power is one company that’s working to create cleaner sources of energy. Co-founders Dr. Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie have designed a technology that uses a hot salt mixture to dissolve uranium.

This process could potentially eliminate the toxic waste that is created with the nuclear power we use today. It could also eliminate much of the risk for steam explosions.

The potential for this new technology is great. But it couldn’t be fully realized without some funding behind it. So, the company has spent the past year raising $6 million in funding for the project.

Much of the money came from Peter Thiel’s Founder’s Fund, which was a perfect fit since the organization has the ability to be patient with its investments. And Transatomic Power’s technology is likely at least 10 years away from being able to show any sort of return on investment. Dewan told Fast Company:

“They were one of the early investors in SpaceX, so when we talked with them about our time line, they said, ‘Oh that’s kind of in line with how much time it took to get the Falcon 9 off the ground.’”

The investment should enable the team at Transatomic Power to get their technology past the experimental stage and to the point where it can actually be put into action.

Currently, about 19 percent of the electricity in the U.S. is generated using nuclear power. So this cleaner version has the potential to make a huge impact. It just takes some forward thinking scientists and investors who believe in their mission.

Dewan said:

 “Basically, we’re all working together in opposition to fossil fuels. That’s the real fight.”

Image: Transatomic Power

4 Comments ▼

Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

4 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    Wow that’s genius. But then wouldn’t that be dangerous?

    • Transatomic’s reactor design is a molten salt reactor. MSR’s are fundamentally safer than today’s light water reactors, and can be built so they cannot melt down.

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