Atomic Show #238 – StarCore Nuclear co-founders

StarCore Nuclear is a Canadian company whose co-founders, David Dabney and David Poole, are experienced engineers and businessmen. They have spent most of the past six years developing a technology and a business model aimed at providing reliable, emission-free electrical power and heat to remote locations.

The basis of their technology is a high-temperature helium cooled reactor that uses TRISO coated fuel particles formed into compacts and stacked in a prismatic core similar to the one used at Ft. St. Vrain in Colorado. The primary helium loop heats a nitrogen filled secondary loop which then heats the air in a conventional gas turbine.

Both the helium and the nitrogen loops operate at elevated-similar pressures, while the air loop operates at the low pressures common in a typical combustion gas turbine.

According to the company’s web site, it is planning for its facilities to be deployed under a license, “build-own-operate-decommission” plan that relies on the customer signing a long term power purchase agreement with the company taking care of all of the details associated with the plant itself.

On April 6, 2015, I chatted with both David Dabney and David Poole to learn more about their progress, their proximity to obtaining their operating licenses for the first units, their plans for raising capital and the reasons they believe that their model will provide both an important source of clean power and a good return on investment.

I think you will enjoy this conversation, which I hope will be the first of several in the coming years.

During the conversation, David Poole mentioned that the company has a Facebook page. Click here to explore the company’s web site.

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SMR advocates and interested parties gathering in Charlotte – April 14-15

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SMRs – lots of noise but DOE budget that’s 1% of annual wind tax credit

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NRC issues SER for Westinghouse Small Break LOCA PIRT

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Today Show cheers nuclear power by chanting “Go Nuke!”

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Diseconomy of scale – world’s largest canned-motor reactor coolant pump

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Atomic Show #234 – Update from South Australia

Ben Heard of Think Climate Consulting and DecarboniseSA.com joined me for a discussion about the nuclear fuel cycle in Australia. In early February, the South Australian government announced the formation of a royal commission to investigate the state’s future role in the nuclear fuel cycle. As Ben explained, royal commissions are fairly rare and only […]

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Atomic Show #233 – Innovators discuss advanced reactor development in US

There are a growing number of innovative small companies and a few divisions of larger companies that have recognized that nuclear energy offers solutions to a number of important human challenges. Despite the proclamations by opponents, the Nuclear Renaissance is not any more dead in 2015 than the original Renaissance was dead in 1315. In […]

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Energizing visit to UC Berkeley’s Nuclear Engineering Department

On Feb 9, 2015, I had the opportunity to visit the faculty and students at the University of California Berkeley. Prof. Per Peterson invited me out to give a colloquium talk and to see some of the interesting work that his colleagues and students were doing in advanced nuclear technology. One of the primary research […]

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ThorCon – Demonstrated Molten Salt Tech Packaged With Modern Construction Techniques

The dearth of real innovation and focused direction from the established companies in the US nuclear industry in the face of rapidly expanding demand for clean energy solutions has stimulated the formation of a number of start-up companies. The leaders of these companies have backgrounds that have taught them to ask “Why not?” when faced […]

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Putting excitement back into nuclear technology development

Josh Freed, Third Way‘s clean energy vice president, has published a thoughtful, graphically enticing Brookings Essay titled Back to the Future: Advanced Nuclear Energy and the Battle Against Climate Change. It focuses on Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie of Transatomic Power, but it also makes it abundantly clear that those two visionary entrepreneurs are examples […]

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Atomic Show #229 – Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, Transatomic Power

On December 1, 2014, I talked with Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, the co-founders of Transatomic Power, a tiny nuclear reactor design company started up less than 3 years ago. Several weeks ago, I published an article here titled Transatomic Power – Anatomy of Next. That article, as expected, generated a healthy discussion thread. At […]

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