The Fund Portfolio

Q3 2021

Update from CORE POWER

CORE completed our B-1 funding round last month. This Series B-1 covers CORE’s share of the ‘Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment’ development currently underway at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) with our consortium partners TerraPower, Southern Co. and Orano.

MCRE will be the world’s first fast-spectrum salt-fuelled nuclear fission reactor, and is a vital precursor to the eventual commercialisation of the Molten Chloride Fast Reactor (MCFR) that can be deployed in such a game-changing fashion for future maritime and floating energy applications.

To support that program and to engage with U.S. regulators and stakeholders CORE opened a U.S office in Washington, D.C. in early November. They will build a presence in Washington to grow this part of the business throughout 2022 and beyond.

As the COP 26 spotlight fell on Scotland, both shipping and advanced nuclear energy were central on the agenda at the recent COP26 in Glasgow.

U.S. Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry, at the unveiling of the net-zero by 2050 declaration of several countries (led by the U.S., Denmark, and Marshall Islands), pointed out that the U.S. Navy has an impeccable track record of nuclear propulsion over 67 years—never lost a crew member, never had a spill. . .

COP26 also saw the birth of the ‘Clydebank Declaration’, a formation of ‘green’ corridors to assist infrastructure development for synthetic fuels, and also a First Movers Coalition to accelerate technology advancements in hard-to-abate-sectors such as shipping. The MSR can play a central role in all these initiatives to produce cheap, green zero-carbon fuels on floating refineries at key junction points under this agreement.

Talk of nuclear being ‘excluded’ from the talks proved to be far from the case. French economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire summarised it well when he said that ‘Nuclear energy is not a question of ideology, but a question of maths‘.

As countries continue to grasp that the need for carbon-free, dispatchable baseload power is going to be fundamental in meeting climate goals, several nations announced land-based SMR (small modular reactor) projects, often replacing coal-fired power on their grids in projects that could be seen as ‘low hanging fruit’ in the climate transition.

The decision by TerraPower to site their new Natrium reactor (which also features a molten salt energy storage system) at a retiring coal plant in Kemmerer in Wyoming by 2027, was further evidence of this.

Investors in Japan are paying attention too. A CORE POWER press briefing on the MSR in early October, led to an exciting panel discussion of the MSR at Bari-Ship 2021 and profiled as a viable solution for decarbonization of large ships.

TerraPower Consortium Signs Risk Reduction Agreement with the DOE
On November 18, Southern Company and Idaho National Laboratory announced the signing of a $170 million cost share agreement entered into with the U.S. Department of Energy to build the proof of concept Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment. These tandem announcements make reference to the fact that applications in ocean transportation and other marine uses are the purview of CORE POWER. Southern Co.’s Press Release The Idaho National Lab Press release Learn more about CORE POWER here. Follow CORE POWER on Twitter. Follow CORE POWER on LinkedIn.
Nucleation Capital has closed on an equity investment in CORE POWER

[The following is text approved by CORE Power for public release.]

CORE POWER is a UK-based development company, specializing in advanced scalable nuclear power technology for ocean transport and heavy industry. In partnership with leading international corporations, CORE POWER aims to deliver durable zero-emission energy for floating industrial production and deep-sea shipping.

CORE POWER is a member of the TerraPower, Southern Co., Orano consortium that applied for a United States Government’s Department of Energy (DoE) Risk Reduction grant and was successfully awarded $140 million by the DOE for work on a Molten Chloride Fast Reactor (MCFR).

TerraPower is a privately held advanced nuclear venture founded by Bill Gates; Southern Company and Orano are highly experienced nuclear technology development and supply partners for the MCFR.

CORE POWER’s area of expertise is to develop the market for a maritime MCFR in applications ranging from clean production zero-carbon fuels to nuclear propulsion of large ships.

The consortium is working under a Joint Collaboration Agreement (JCA) where CORE POWER holds exclusive rights to maritime applications.

CORE POWER is targeting advanced nuclear propulsion for the largest 7,500 ships, responsible for 50% of global CO2 emissions from shipping, as well as designing production systems for the manufacture and production of green hydrogen based zero-carbon fuels on offshore production platforms.

Further applications of a maritime MCFR includes barge-mounted mobile power plants, rapid response water desalination tankers, deep-sea mining vessels, rapid plastics recycling, and reformation as well as floating production and industrial processing of minerals and soft commodities.

CORE POWER has deep ties within the ocean transportation industry with many of the company’s shareholders representing familiar names in that market. The current shareholder base either owns or operates more than 2,000 large ships which are in line to install the technology, once ready and licensed for maritime use.

The Company recently completed a second round of funding (Series B-1). Aside from Nucleation Capital, there were no other VC firms in this deal. Instead, most of the $15.4 million raised came from owners and managers of some of the largest shipping companies in the world.

CORE POWER’s Founder, Chairman and CEO has 30 years of experience working in the shipping industry, at a senior level, in technology, finance, transport and commodities.  These relationships are a major strategic asset and CORE POWER anticipates earning interim revenue from these prospective customers by working to help them prepare their fleets for conversion to the MCFR.

CORE POWER’s equity is leveraged 4-to-1 by the private capital provided by their consortium partners, TerraPower, Southern and Orano. This total capital is further leveraged 4-to-1 by the $140 million non-dilutive 80/20 cost-share grant from the U.S. DOE, which we believe aids the consortium’s and CORE POWER’s prospects for success considerably.

[Note: We are very pleased to have been able to participate in this funding round. The absence of other VCs only emphasizes just how unique Nucleation Capital is and how potentially instrumental we can be in bridging the funding gap in this sector.]

For more information about CORE POWER, please see their website at www.corepower.energy