what we do

Reducing the environmental impact of nuclear fission and providing safe and clean energy

Meeting the growing energy needs is one of the main challenges for the coming years. Nuclear fission can provide safe, clean and reliable power for humanity. We are working to further reduce the environmental impact of nuclear fission. Our reactor will significantly increase fuel efficiency, enhance safety at a competitive cost and have the capability to burn the waste already produced by the existing nuclear plants.

Our machines are Generation-IV reactors, the reactor technologies internationally recognised as the next step in the evolution of nuclear power plants.

Recently the EU Commission included innovative nuclear technologies like ours within the perimeter of the EU Taxonomy of environmentally sustainable economic activities.

The time has come to take action and invest in the future of nuclear energy

LEAD-COOLED FAST REACTORS

MINI LFR​

30 MWe

also for shipping propulsion​

SMALL LFR

200 MWe

also can be used as a burner​

GEN-IV SMR​

Our objective is to quickly deliver a versatile solution at a competitive cost. This is why we are designing two Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), enabling plant manufacturing and reducing costs: they are 30MWe and 200MWe, a relatively small power compared to conventional nuclear power plants (1000MWe average). The 30MWe can swiftly meet the commercial demand for small electric generating units, such as for islands, remote communities, or to power large vessels (shipping propulsion). The 200MWe can be an economically competitive solution for central station power plants.

LEAD COOLANT

Lead shows excellent properties for the nuclear application and is abundant, relatively low cost, shows high boiling temperature, does not interact with water, air or fuel – unlike sodium - and offers some radiation shielding. These characteristics allow achieving high efficiencies while working at atmospheric pressure, greatly simplify the reactor design and enhance passive safety in an accident scenario.
We are studying the technological solutions to fully exploit these while dealing with the well-known challenges associated to the use of lead.

WASTE BURNING, NO MINING

Fast reactors can extract up to 100x the energetic content from natural uranium compared to the conventional (thermal) reactors, resulting in a reduced need for mining and improved waste management.
These kind of reactors also have the capability to utilise as fuel the most long-lived and some of the most dangerous waste produced by today’s reactors, hence reducing what that would be otherwise stored in a geological repository for tens of thousands of years.

KNOW-HOW

In order to be as time and cost effective as possible, we are powerfully combining our 13-strong patent portfolio, the vast experience of our senior scientific leadership and the fresh mindset and skillset of our young scientific team, while relying on existing and proven technologies and solutions wherever possible. We also rely on over 20 years’ experience on lead technology, brought by the ENEA experts. Our recently signed agreement with them includes a team of engineers, who will work permanently for about 10 years at ENEA Brasimone Centre.

NEW FUEL
CYCLES​

Burning of
existing waste​​

Use of
Thorium​

Th: ABUNDANT

Thorium is three times more abundant than uranium in the Earth’s crust and requires no enrichment.

REDUCED RADIOTOXICITY

LFRs with a thorium blanket can generate power from the plutonium residue left by uranium-fed reactors. They also drastically reduce the amount of minor actinides produced.

ACCELERATOR DRIVEN SYSTEM

Subcritical LFR​
+​ Particle accelerator

INTRINSICALLY SAFE

The reactor core is designed to not be critical, meaning that it cannot self-sustain the nuclear chain reaction without the coupled proton accelerator. In a nuclear accident scenario, it would therefore automatically shut down.

EVOLUTION

The ADS represents our long-term goal. As such, it will greatly benefit from the technological solutions we are validating with the LFRs.

newcleo works in partnership with top level research institutions, including ENEA, Politecnico di Milano, Politecnico di Torino and we are also signing MOU agreements with international industry players. We are holding constructive conversations with high-ranking government representatives in the UK and France to explore the best options and locations to develop our project.

our strategic plan-to-market

Our projects are based on an overall 15-years timeline aiming to fully exploit nuclear fuel and eliminate the most dangerous nuclear waste produced by older generations of nuclear reactors. We can use this waste as fuel through the most innovative and safest designs:

5 years
1
7/10 years
2
10/12 years
3
13/15 years
4

Precursor

Our non-nuclear electrically-heated prototype will allow us to thoroughly test our solutions for the well-known challenges related to liquid metal and in particular lead.

This important work is being carried out in collaboration with ENEA, and the prototype will be built at the Brasimone site, Italy.

MINI Lead-cooled Fast Reactor (30 MW)

With this mini reactor we are addressing the maritime propulsion market and the small nuclear installations market: designed to work for 15 years without refuelling or maintenance.

At the end of the reactor life, it will be simply replaced and the fuel will be reprocessed.

SMALL Lead-cooled Fast Reactor (200 MW)

Our terrestrial waste-to-energy reactor: exploiting the capacity of LFR reactors to close the fuel cycle, it will be used to produce energy and, at the same time, burn nuclear waste from existing nuclear plants, otherwise destined to a geological repository. This design displays some of our 13 patents, including the amphora-shaped inner vessel.

Accelerator Driven System (ADS)

All the previous steps and designs also serve a further goal:

to design and commercialise the ADS, a concept proposed by Nobel laureate Carlo Rubbia. This consists of a subcritical (not self-sustained) LFR coupled with a particle accelerator, enabling a thorium-based fuel cycle and the ultimate conditions for complete safety.