Paul van Gerven
2 April

Thorizon has received a 10-million euro grant from the French government for the development of a modular molten-salt reactor. In addition, the Dutch nuclear startup has been included in France’s nuclear innovation program called France 2030. This provides access to expertise in nuclear research, European legislation and business development.

Credit: Thorizon

Molten-salt reactors are considered safer than conventional reactors, among other things because the nuclear fuel is already liquid. In case of emergency, a passive safety system dumps the contents of the reactor into drain tanks to solidify. This precludes the dreaded meltdown from happening. Other advantages include higher efficiencies and the ability to use existing long-lived waste as fuel, turning it into short-lived radioactive waste.

A spinoff from NRG, Thorizon started in Amsterdam, where a team of 20 engineers worked on the new reactor. Earlier this year, a second location was opened in Lyon, which will grow to a similar size within a few months. “Historically, France has been the center of nuclear expertise in the world. It’s therefore important for us to also have a physical presence there,” says Thorizon CEO Kiki Lauwers. Among the Dutch firm’s French partners is Orano, a specialist in recycling nuclear materials.

Thorizon is one of ten startups supported by the France 2030 program. Only two of those aren’t French.

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