Kurion Expands Its Nuclear Waste Empire

Jan 29 2014, 2:34pm CST | by

Kurion Expands Its Nuclear Waste Empire

Kurion, a startup that has developed technology for storing nuclear waste in glass, has acquired Vista Engineering Technologies, a larger company that will triple Kurion’s staffing.

VentureWire broke the story of the acquisition, which has since been announced.

Kurion is one of the more interesting stories in clean technology and one of the few nuclear start-ups that seems to have gained momentum in the marketplace. Incubated at VC firm Lux Capital, the company emerged in 2010 as an advocate of vitrification, a process which involves capturing nuclear waste in a glass matrix. While vitrification has been employed in the U.K. the U.S. and several other countries have often largely relied on storing waste in sealed tubs. (Reprocessing, another idea for nuclear waste, has always been a hot potato.) It signed a testing contract with CH2MHill.

In ordinary circumstances, Kurion would have had to spent years in testing and certification before commercial acceptance began. But Tokyo Electric Power reached out to Kurion in April 2011 to help with the Fukushima cleanup. That contract has generated approximately $100 million in revenue and $40 million in net profit, according to VentureWire.

It also allowed Kurion to buy GeoMelt, another vitrification specialist, in 2012. Kurion has also landed development deals in Europe and the U.S.

The fate of the nuclear industry today remains unclear because of the uncertainties surrounding the cost of new plants and public skepticism. Fusion reactors and modular reactors are still largely in the testing phase. While Kurion was helped by an unfortunate disaster, the company’s momentum can also be attributed to honing in marketable solution to an ongoing problem.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

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