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The US Government is Funding Nuclear Research for Carbon Reduction

September 5, 2023
x min read

The United States Department of Energy has recently announced it will fund two groundbreaking studies to explore if nuclear energy can power carbon capture.

The details:

  • The United States Department of Energy has awarded two grants to studies that aim to validate that nuclear energy can play a role in fuelling carbon capture technology
  • The first study will be led by GE Vernova, the clean energy arm of General Electric, and will focus on using nuclear energy to power a direct air capture hub in Houston, Texas
  • The second study will be led by Northwestern University and will focus on a large scale direct air capture facility being powered by nuclear

Why it matters:

  • These studies are the first of their kind and could validate an entirely new approach to carbon capture and climate tech
  • Seeing government funding for nuclear energy is a noteworthy milestone, as it represents a potential new paradigm shift in clean energy production

Going deeper:

  • Nuclear energy has been a widely debated topic, with many thought leaders in climate tech saying it is a vital approach for both net zero and energy independence
  • The carbon footprint of nuclear energy is extremely low, which makes it an ideal energy source for clean technologies
  • Oklo, a startup that builds nuclear reactors, recently announced it would go public via a SPAC deal that values the company at roughly $850M USD. OpenAI founder Sam Altman is one of Oklo’s notable investors and is an outspoken supporter of nuclear energy

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