According to Bloomberg:
In recent weeks, some of Silicon Valley’s most famous technologists have hailed a historically polarizing energy source — nuclear power — as a solution to both cutting carbon emissions and weaning the world off now-controversial Russian gas.
Last year, venture investors plowed a record $3.4 billion into nuclear startups — more than in every year over the past decade combined, according to research firm PitchBook. That number reflects very early-stage startups as well as more mature companies like Commonwealth Fusion Systems and Helion Energy Inc., both of which raised funding rounds of $500 million or more in 2021. In the previous decade there was an average of fewer than 10 deals a year. Last year the number jumped to 28.
But as concerns over climate change grow, nuclear power’s advantages have become clearer. Like solar, nuclear power has no carbon emissions; unlike solar, it can reliably produce energy 24 hours a day. It’s also a path toward energy independence. The war in Ukraine drove gas prices in the U.S. to an all-time high earlier this month. While building more nuclear reactors won’t alleviate the current pain — even the new, smaller designs will take years to license and build — supporters say it could help head off the next crisis.