Commercial

NANO Nuclear’s Cooling Tech Acquisition Sends Stock Surging

Image: NANO Nuclear Energy

NANO Nuclear Energy ($NNE) is having a good week. The newest nuclear energy IPO on the market is trading up nearly 46% since Monday morning and reached an intra-day high of $36.14 per share on Tuesday. 

The catalyst: The acquisition of a cooling technology that can send liquid metal or molten salt coolant circulating throughout a reactor using electromagnetic fields instead of moving parts—and will be ready for customers within a year, according to its chief architect, physicist Carlos Maidana of Maidana Research.

  • The electromagnetic pump in question was developed by Maidana’s company using SBIR grants funded by the DOE totaling $1.37M.
  • NANO will invest $350,000 to complete the tech development over the next nine months, including working out software and hybrid manufacturing processes to start selling.
  • The company will also use the pump system for its own microreactors under development.

“NANO Nuclear will have in less than a year a family of products to commercialize,” Maidana told Ignition. “Then it cuts the research and development costs of the microreactors in a third…Then all the basic research and development was funded by the Department of Energy…so there’s no risk.”

That lack of risk and the imminent potential income stream is clearly ringing true with the public markets, which have taken note of $NNE’s rise. 

About those customers…The electromagnetic pumps could replace mechanical pumps used to circulate coolant for an entire generation of advanced reactors being developed for terrestrial and space applications.

  • Potential customers run the gamut, including fission and fusion companies, as well as civil and commercial applications.
  • NANO’s release on the acquisition calls out TerraPower, Oklo, Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Tokamak, NASA, the DOE, GE-Hitachi, and Rolls-Royce Marine as potential customers.
  • A handful of these companies—including Oklo, per Madeira—also expressed interest in acquiring the technology itself in the months before the sale to NANO.

Besides the pump, Maidana continues to develop supporting software and manufacturing processes, which will also be for sale in a year, give or take. The software piece, he says, resonates with those same potential customers.

“I can tell you that there are companies that for many years, they were using the same type of old software, outdated software from [the] 1970s,” Maidana said. “And suddenly you have something new and more precise.”

The space domain: Maidana’s tech has its roots in a 2008 DOE x NASA project to build a microreactor for the lunar surface. With the commercial space sector’s growth and the civil push for a long-term lunar presence, there’s a growing need for space-based nuclear energy production and nuclear electric propulsion.

  •  Maidana says that his electromagnetic pump, which is designed to go 10+ years without needing maintenance, fits those applications better than a mechanical pump.

NANO plans to pursue government contract opportunities for space reactors—whether from NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), or whoever else is interested—as well as commercial contracts for off-Earth power production projects.

“We’re open for business,” Maidana said.

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