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.