19 Apr (NucNet): The company behind a Denmark-based project to develop and commercialise a molten salt reactor (MSR) has closed its first round of pre-seed investment, attracting “several millions” of Danish kroner.
Seaborg Technologies of Copenhagen said among the investors is David Helgason, the founder of the leading Silicon Valley based game engine Unity, who said this is one of his “most exciting investments”. He joins Bill Gates, Pieter Thiel and Gary Bergstrom as the big investor names behind revolutionary energy start-ups in the field of advanced nuclear power.
The investment coalition was led by the Danish innovation incubator PreSeed Ventures. PreSeed called the investment in Seaborg a “moonshot investment’, which has a longer time horizon for any return, but also great potential. “We don’t get there if we don’t invest in moonshots,” said PreSeed chief executive officer Christel Piron.
Seaborg said that with the new investors on board, its team has grown to 16 employees, making it the largest reactor development startup in Europe.
Seaborg chief executive officer Troels Schönfeldt told NucNet that the company is seeking to close a further €1.5m to €2m of investment in the near future. “Obviously, this investment is a major milestone for us. However, it’s just a milestone, and we have significant work ahead,” Mr Schönfeldt said.
Seaborg is developing an advanced thorium-based MSR and said last year it had received a grant from the public funding agency Innovation Fund Denmark, a move that marked the first Danish investment into nuclear fission research since a 1985 ban on nuclear energy.
The decision to fund the reactor, known as the Seaborg Cube-100 (short for Compact Used Fuel BurnEr), is the beginning of the first Danish venture into the development of novel fission reactor concepts, Seaborg said.