Danish Nuclear Startup Taps Billionaire for Asian Reactor

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A Danish company planning to manufacture small modular reactors raised about 20 million euros ($24 million) to bring a floating nuclear-power station to southeast Asia.

Seaborg Technology AS raised the funds to bring nuclear power at sea to parts of southeast Asia which rely on fossil fuels and where renewables aren’t yet an option. Floating reactors are as old as the nuclear age, with units powering submarines and icebreakers for some seven decades. Last year, Russia deployed new reactors on barges to light up remote Arctic coastlines.

Seaborg envisions building its molten fluoride salt reactors in South Korean shipyards after developing the technology in Denmark in a bid to keep costs down. Completed barges will then be towed to where they’re needed. The plan is to connect the first unit to a grid by 2025.

Danish Nuclear Startup Taps Billionaire for Asian Reactor

“We will provide a significantly cheaper alternative to coal in regions with no access to renewable energy,” said Troels Schonfeldt, chief executive officer of Seaborg.

Barges will be tugged to their final location where it can be anchored for as long as 24 years. Each barge can be outfitted with 200 to 600 megawatts of power capacity, depending on how many reactors are on board.

The money, raised from mostly private investors including fashion billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen, will be used to hire about 50 people and build a state of the art laboratory, Schonfeldt said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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