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Small-scale nuclear maker aims for $8bn rollout

Montreal-based StarCore Nuclear says its reactors will cost about $200m to build and fit onto the size of a football pitch.

A Canadian manufacturer of modular nuclear reactors has kick-started a fundraising round with a view to deploying about $8 billion over the next decade.

StarCore Nuclear, which is currently designing reactors that are meant to work in extreme or remote environments as well as dense urban centres, says a typical co-generation plant from its main series will be able produce 28MW of clean power, potable water and 10MW of thermal energy for the likes of heating or agriculture.

The company, backed by Chicago-headquartered boutique lender Ziegler and London-based investment firm TREDIC Corporation, aims to build itself up to a multi-billion business in five stages.

The $10 million first stage, already closed, saw the founders, David Dabney and David Poole, design the concept and all intellectual property. The company is now on to its second stage of development, through which it hopes to raise $40 million by $10 million increments. Two potential investors are currently involved in due diligence, with a close scheduled on 31 December.

Stage Three aims to raise $210 million to help build the first plant in Chalk River, Ontario. “This Stage provides an opportunity to participate in the first step in the emergence of a new technology to support environmental and social benefits for the World. The StarCore design is commercially proven and has been assessed as being very low risk by many nuclear experts,” the company said in a prospectus.

Investors in this stage will be given right of first refusal on Stage Four and Five. The former, which is gunning for $1.8 billion, will strive to finance the other nine plants in StarCore’s initial batch of 10 facilities.

Stage Five will be aiming to raise around $8 billion. StarCore says it is currently “in negotiation” with a global fund on this phase, for which it projects “enterprise-level returns” of more than 20 percent.