What can venture capital bring to nuclear innovators?

August 25, 2022, 7:06AMNuclear NewsRod Adams

Rod Adams

In 1993, after a decade in the nuclear navy during which time I fell in love with nuclear power, I left the service and founded Adams Atomic Engines (AAE) to develop a small, portable engine powered by fission. Today, AAE would be seen as a venture developing an SMR, but back then, I couldn’t find enough investors who understood or believed in my vision.

That was deeply disappointing, but over the next several decades I stayed connected with other innovators who had similar visions. I found great satisfaction interviewing members of the industry through the Atomic Show podcast and publishing news about advanced nuclear developments on my website, Atomic Insights.

Fast forward, and the world is in a very different place. A few years ago, I was contacted by an investor who saw the potential of advanced nuclear designs to meet the world’s needs for a clean energy revolution, and I was thrilled. Even in 2019, there were almost no venture capitalists focusing on what was happening in the nuclear industry—probably because nuclear had never fit the venture capital model, which involves investing in the equity of a growing private venture.

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