Next-generation nuclear: the cutting edge?

This data-file screens c20 companies at the cutting edge of nuclear technology, to assess whether fission or fusion breakthroughs can realistically be factored into long-run forecasts of energy markets or the energy transition.

Our conclusion is “not yet”. Despite many signs of exciting progress, the average technical readiness in our sample is TRL 4 (testing components). Nine companies are working to lab-scale prototypes. Energy gains and system stability remain key challenges.

The best case scenario could see fusion reactors commercialised in the 2030s, but technical challenge remain. The pace of progress is however accelerating slowly (chart below).

This database summarises each company, including its technology, location, employee count, notable backers, technical technical readiness, earliest potential commercial date and recent milestones. Our notes also cover expected costs or technical details that have been disclosed.